Hi Everyone,

I’m excited to be going to UBC this week to speak with students – some on campus and some virtually at the other campuses. They’ve forwarded me some amazing questions they’d like me to answer, and I’m really happy to see the types of questions and concerns they have about their future and the future of the profession.

Their questions reminded me that one of the things I’ve been hearing lately is that many of you would like to hear more about what is happening in terms of advocacy. I can solve that! I’m going to start writing a weekly blog to let you know what is new and what is happening. But this has to work both ways – I’ll share what we’re focusing on, but you need to let me know if there’s a particular topic you think we’re missing, or something you’d like to hear more about, or something you’d like to contribute to the discussion!

I’m going to touch on the biggest thing looming on the immediate horizon. In 11 days, a big change is coming when the CPTBC amalgamates with six other professions to form the new College of Health and Care Professionals of BC. Recently, PABC submitted some of our thoughts on the new Bylaws (mostly questions we have). You can read that submission here, but it’s also important to remember that these are temporary Bylaws as the newly amalgamated College will continue under the purview of the Health Professions Act until sometime (likely Winter/Spring 2025) when the new Health Professions and Occupations Act is enacted, and at that time, they’ll begin working on new new bylaws. Confusing right?

For the moment, you probably can expect very little to change with your day-to-day dealings with the College. Most likely you will see more separation of roles between the College and Association, and most likely the new College will not be as involved in activities and events as they have been before. This is the third time I’ve been a senior leader of a health association while my regulatory body has been amalgamated (nursing and oral health previously). I have a pretty good sense of where the problems can be, but so much is dependent on the leadership of the new regulatory body and how well we’ve learned from the mistakes that have been made before. Some things are going to cause problems – differences between professions governed by the same body (everyone else has interim licensing), the differences in QA programs, the fact that one profession (for the moment psychology) has been left off the Board – etc. I have lots of confidence in the leadership of the new College under Dianne Millette, who will be the CEO/Registrar, but it would be irresponsible to think there won’t be challenges ahead.

That said, please join us in wishing Dianne well – she and her team have an enormous amount of work to do over the next few months and years!

We also submitted updates to the Physiotherapy Regulation, which you can review (no word yet on what government intends to do to finalize these). I want to thank the PABC Scope of Practice Committee who were absolute ROCK STARS in developing the response through a complicated and sometimes frustrating process. We know that these Regulations won’t meet all the needs of our profession – and there is more work to do on updating our Scope and Regulations in the future – but for now, we were asked to only submit those activities that Physiotherapists already do that weren’t in our existing scope. We’re looking forward to seeing what happens next.

I commit to sharing a weekly update on Advocacy with you. Next week I’ll touch a bit on what’s happening with insurers (PBC, ICBC, WorkSafe and more).

If there is something you would like me to advocate on (or something you are passionate about and want to do some work on but need support), please email me at aburton@bcphysio.org or give me a call on my cell (604) 762-4743 and we’ll see what we can do about it! No issue is too big or small, and your input is such an important part of the work we do.

Happy Summer! Stay well and be safe.

Andrea Burton