Supporting Thrifty Fifty

The Nutrition Course Union (“NCU”) passed a resolution proclaiming a policy of serving at least 50% plant-based food and beverages at the NCU’s events whenever food is involved, given that plant-based eating promotes social justice, as well as individual, public and planetary health.

More information about the resolution can be found here: thrifty-fifty-resolution-blank-jan-2017

Dietetic Student Advocacy 

Students nationwide have expressed their frustrations with the current system and are collaborating with professors, RD’s, etc to do something about it. It’s time for students to be involved in this issue and advocate for their future profession. We are not alone in this. Together we CAN make a change. To get informed and involved in this movement visit:


Alternatively, you can also e-mail if you want to get more involved or have any other questions. We look forward to hearing from you!


February 9, 2012 – Advocacy Update: Response from Alan Shepard, Ryerson University Provost and Vice President Academic

We have received a response to our advocacy efforts from the University Provost and Vice President Academic of Ryerson University.

The response encourages that students from Ryerson University collaborate with Brescia University College and Guelph University and involve the Ontario Government and Dietitian’s of Canada towards realigning our education model.

A copy of the response can be found here.

February 7, 2012 – Advocacy Update: An Interview with Judy Paisley

A report called “Task Force on Dietetic Education and Practical Training” was presented to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and Health Force Ontario in June 2011 and at a follow-up meeting held with Ministry staff in November 2011. The full report is available on Ryerson’s DC Blackboard Organization.

This report presents Judy Paisley’s understanding of the Task Force report as of Jan 2012 and was initiated in response to questions from students.

February 04, 2012

An update from Marlene Wyatt (Dietitians of Canada):

“As an update, since the report was sent to the government at the end of June, we have continued our efforts to discuss, with them, implementation of the recommendations contained in the report. The provincial election and changes within departmental organization and staff has lead to delays in meeting with senior government officials. We finally had a meeting in mid November. The meeting was very positive but they were not able to commit to implementation at this time. There was an agreement to continue discussions. We remain optimistic but understand that acting on government priorities, particularly with a minority government, may slow the decision making process. We have been in touch with them regarding a follow-up meeting.”
Marlene Wyatt

What dietitians/interns across Canada have said about our advocacy efforts so far:

Cheers to all of you for going forth with this idea!!  I graduated in 1990 from Brescia and only 50% of graduates at that time could land an internship…..not much has changed.  We were saying back then that our program should be more like nurses to do the practical along the way with the academic.  We would then be able to have RDs for all the vacant positions out there.  I’m very interested in this and can’t wait to hear what happens when Guelph and Brescia join forces with you. Best of Luck,
Angela Utting, BSc RD
(Woodstock, ON)

Way to go!  Good for you guys! Good luck!
Sylvie Boulet, RD
(Victoria Harbour, ON)

“Great challenge and awesome results!  I will look forward to more news and really applaud your efforts.”
Cathy Pearson
Ryerson ’77
(Richmond Hill, ON)

My heartfelt approval and support for this action that you are taking. This has been a shameful situation for much too long. I became a RD in 1984 and I have had many nutrition graduates volunteer with me over the years in order to become better internship candidates. This is after they were unable to obtain an internship placement after graduation. This new Masters/Internship program is not a solution as far as I’m concerned. In my neck of the woods I know of 2 RDs who went to Wayne State University in Michigan in order to qualify to write the Ontario RD exam. When there is a Canada wide movement to integrated internships, why is Ontario the last? To those who say “I don’t want to get all political.” I say: “Then you are allowing yourself to be a pawn in the politics of others.” We have an agenda for change. Status quo must go.
Bill Franks, RD
Sarnia, ON

I was just reading the DCSN email and was very interested in the Task Force opportunity for student involvement. I don’t go to Brescia; I go to Mount Saint Vincent University, but I am from Ontario and will practice in Ontario after this year. My school already has an integrated internship program. I have already done my first rotation. This experience may in some ways be helpful even just to impart my experience and that of my fellow classmates. Please let me know how I might get involved with the activities to support dietetics in Ontario.
Kristin Knight
(Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Good Idea! I was fortunate to graduate in 1967 from the University of Guelph and completed my internship with one summer at Brantford General and the rest at Victoria hospital in London.  There were many jobs I could choose from.  I could work part time while raising our children which was an added bonus.  I mentored several summer students who went on to internship and did well.  I know how difficult it was for them to get into internship and felt for them.  I am now retired but still hope for the best for all interns and dietitians. Keep up the good work.
Vi Knebel, Former Clinical Dietitian
(St. Catherines, ON)

I just wanted to applaud your groups efforts on this initiative. It is an excellent advocacy strategy for student stakeholders to get involved. I am pleased that you are going to work together with Guelph and Brescia students. Excellent work! Keep it up,
Dr. Paula Dworatzek
Assistant Professor, Brescia University College
(London, ON)

We have received two additional responses to our Nutrition Course Union provincial election questionnaire.

Dalton McGuinty provided this response.

Mike Schreiner’s response on behalf of the Green Party of Ontario:

“The GPO health plan prioritizes investments in community care, NP led clinics and family health teams with a wide range of practitioners operating at full scope of practice focused on preventing illness, promoting health and managing illness in the community. Dietitians play an essential role in this model of care.” 
Mike Schreiner, Green Party of Ontario: Simcoe – Grey riding

We will continue to post party responses here as they come in so please check back frequently.

We have received the first response to our Nutrition Course Union provincial election questionnaire from Andrea Horwath of the New Democrat Party.

We will continue to post party responses here as they come in.

Update: Provincial Elections and the Dietetic Internship Process

Unfortunately we have not received any response from any of the Provincial Elections candidates. This does not mean that our initiative has come to an end because we will re-state the issue with the elected MPPs after the election.

We also contacted Leslie Whittington-Carter, the Ontario Government Relations Coordinator from Dietitians of Canada.

Below is her response regarding our advocacy & Task Force:

Thank you for contacting me and for taking the initiative to contact the provincial candidates.  As you are aware, Dietitians of Canada organized and supported the task force along with other stakeholders in dietetic education.  We have advanced the issue of the lack of internship positions through our annual presentation to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, as well as communications to provincial candidates in our pre-election messages about access to dietitians.  Given the short amount of time before the election takes place, it is possible that there will be limited responses to your letter.  You may want to re-state the issue with elected MPPs after the election.  DC is continuing to discuss the Task Force report with government staff, although we do not yet know when there will be decisions made about the recommendations in the report.  

Thanks again for your work in advancing this issue.  I would be very interested in hearing about responses you receive from the candidates.





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