CAOT-BC Working for You

CAOT-BC represents occupational therapy interests within British Columbia. CAOT-BC's efforts are supported primarily through membership dues.

Professional Advocacy within British Columbia

  • Representation of occupational therapy interests within British Columbia
  • Professional profiling with other health professionals
  • Collaboration with the University of British Columbia School of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy (UBC OSOT) and the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC)

Advocacy By Month

May 2017

  • Community Rehab Forum (May 11, 2017)

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

  • Meeting with BC Seniors Advocate - February 2, 2017
  • OT Workforce Collaborative - February 8, 2017
  • Pain BC Provincial Pain Summit 2017 - February 17-19, 2017
  • Vancouver Coastal Health Bridges - February 28, 2017

January 2017

Advocacy: A Year in Review

January 2016

  • Meeting of the CAOT-BC Awards Committee
  • Meetings with the Electronic Health Library of BC ( e-hlbc )
  • Meeting of CarFit Planning Committee

February 2016

  • Joint letter sent to provincial Ministers of Health following the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Health Minister’s meeting ( view letter )
  • Invited contributor to update Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation documents on fall prevention
  • Guest at Semiahmoo Senior Planning Table event with Seniors Advocate, Isobel Mackenzie

March 2016

  • Presentation at Vancouver Coastal Health Bridges
  • Presentation to Vancouver Community College, Massage Therapy program
  • Meeting with MP Mark Warawa  (Official Opposition Critic for Seniors) to discuss how occupational therapy can contribute to the health and well-being of seniors
  • Letter to the editor , responding to the recent changes to the Community Care and Assisted Living Act, published on March 29 by the Penticton Western News
  • Invited guest, Home Medical Equipment Dealer Association of BC (HMEDA-BC) Annual General Meeting, highlighting collaborative work on initiatives of mutual interest
  • Meeting with Autism Community Training regarding supervision model for the Registered Autism Service Provider (RASP) list
  • Talk to an OT  event at Pharmasave Broadmead location
  • Invited stakeholder participant - Rural & Remote Recruitment and Retention Initiatives Project, Wester & Northern Health Human Resources Forum

April 2016

  • Talk to an OT event in partnership with the White Rock Shoppers Home Health Store
  • Letter to the editor  of the Vancouver Sun, responding to the editorial “ Appalling seniors care must be addressed ” (April 6, 2016)
  • Hosted a resource booth at the HME Health Fair in Abbotsford
  • Short-course presentation of CAOT-BC public awareness campaign and media strategies at the AOTA conference
  • Presentations at CAOT conference
  • Meetings with the Canadian Mental Health Association- BC Chapter and Mood Disorders Association of BC

May 2016

  • CAOT-BC day at the BC Legislature
  • Meeting with Minister of Children and Family Development, Stephanie Cadieux
  • Meeting with Dr. Darryl Plecas, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health on Seniors
  • Hosted a Talk to an OT event at Pharmasave Broadmead
  • Attendance at Health Sciences Association of BC Union Convention (exhibit table and invited guest)
  • Hosted an exhibit booth at WorksafeBC Healthcare Conference
  • Representation at the BC Care Providers Congerence (delegate and exhibit booth)
  • Presentation to University of Alberta MOT class
  • Representation at the Community Rehab Forum (exhibit)
  • Meeting with Kevin Evans, new CEO of the Physiotherapy Association of BC

June 2016

  • Meeting with Judy Darcy, MLA, Opposition Spokesperson for Health and Deputy Chair of the Select Standing Committee on Health.
  • Meeting with the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association to plan a CAMPS-HP workshop
  • Meeting with Provincial Advocate, BC Association for Child Development and Intervention
  • Presentation to UBC MOTII class
  • CarFit technician training and driver check-up event; first check-up was with MP Mark Warawa in his Aldergrove riding

July 2016

August 2016

  • Presentation to Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health for Seniors and MLA Darryl  Plecas
  • Letter to the editor of the Times Colonist responding to article Seniors Advocate Faces Many Battles
  • Presentation to Massage Therapy class at Vancouver Community College

September 2016

  • Hosted a promotional booth at Motion Specialties Rehab Expo
  • Exhibit showcasing OT and keynote presentation to ~100 pharmacists (topic of interprofessional collaboration between OT and pharmacy) at Pharmasave Wellness Expo
  • Representation of occupational therapy at BC Continuing Care Collaborative
  • Representation at UBC Rehab Sciences Research Day

October 2016

  • Presentation to District of North Vancouver Council
  • Meeting with Canadian Mental Health Association (BC)
  • Hosted 3 Talk to an OT events (Qualicum Beach, Broadmead & Osoyoos)
  • Presentation to MOT class at University of Alberta
  • Promotional booth at Fraser Health Bridges
  • Promotional booth at Victoria MidLife Show
  • Presentation at COTBC AGM Day
  • Promotional booth at Autism Speaks Canada Autism Festival and Walk – Resource Fair

November 2016

  • Co-hosted CAMS-HP in Kelowna
  • Hosted a Talk to an OT event in Cranbrook
  • Hosted a CAOT-BC information exhibit at the Health and Wellbeing in Children, Youth, and Adults with Developmental Disabilities Conference
  • Meeting with BC Association of Community Response Networks

December 2016

  • Meetings with Health Sciences Association of BC- discussions related to caseload management and workforce
  • Meeting with MP Mark Warawa- discussion related to improving access to occupational therapy for seniors

January 2015

  • Meeting with Physiotherapy Association of BC
  • Meeting with Home Medical Dealers Association of BC
  • Submission to the Health Sciences Association of BC Professional Associations Meeting
  • Submission to the Select Standing Committee on Health

February 2015

  • Meeting with Andrew Saxton, Member of Parliament, North Vancouver to raise awareness of occupational therapy
  • Prepare submission “Maintaining and Sustaining Health Care for Veterans and Canadians” to Hon. Hedy Fry, P.C., M.P., Federal Liberal Health Critic
  • Meeting of the Professional Alliance of Canada (provincial OT professional associations)

March 2015

  • Public awareness campaign planning
  • Promotion of occupational therapy at the Vancouver Wellness Show
  • Participation in Vancouver Coastal Health Building Bridges 18

April 2015

  • Meetings with ICBC & WorkSafeBC
  • Home Medical Equipment Dealer Association webinar regarding Equipment Trial Deposit Program
  • Presentation to UBC MOTI Class
  • Participation in CAOT MP Presentation

May 2015

  •  Attendance at the Ministry of Health Professional Associations Policy Paper Discussion
  • Meeting with the Office of the Seniors Advocate
  • Presentation to the Council of Senior Citizen Organizations of BC
  • Presentation to Vancouver Career College Registered Massage Therapy program
  • Meeting with the BC Ultrasonographers Society
  • CAOT-BC Mid-Year update
  •  Article preparation: UBC OT Fieldwork Education Blog
  • CAOT-BC    interviewed on CKNW News Talk 980
  •  News article published on AM730
  • Letter of the day- published in the   Vancouver Sun
  • Interview on   Global TV

June 2015

  • Representation at the Health Sciences Association of BC Annual Convention (exhibit and special guest delegate)
  • Exhibit and representation at the First Nation Health Authority Gathering Wisdom Forum
  • Invitation and attendance at the release of Seniors Advocate report:   Seniors’ Housing in B.C., Affordable, Appropriate, Available
  • Participation in MLA Appreciation Day- hosted by the Canadian Society of Association Executives-BC Chapter
  •  Breakfast Television interview for Brain Injury Awareness Month
  • CBC interview on the topic of standing desks in response to a New Westminster school adding them to the classrooms

July 2015

  • Release of Public Awareness Campaign “  Advocacy in Action  ” webinar reviewing the campaign to date, and providing more information on the next steps and how you can become involved (   access archive here)
  • Representation at the Occupational Therapy Aboriginal Health Network
  • Representation at the community forum hosted by UBC - Okanagan Campus
  • Exhibit and presentation at the Township of Langley Seniors Fair
  • Exhibit and presentation at the Metro Vancouver Cross Cultural Seniors Network

August 2015

  • Meeting with BC Care Providers Association, the Home Medical Equipment Dealer Association of BC and other key stakeholders regarding the new proposed wheelchair policy developed by the Ministry of Health. 
  • Meeting with Procurement Services (Shared Services BC) and other key stakeholders regarding procurement of wheelchairs and durable medical equipment
  • Presentation to ICBC on the topic of how occupational therapy can enable ICBC to provide effective recovery services to injured customers

September 2015

  • Meeting with greater Victoria MLAs to promote the value of occupational therapy and the need to increase access to services
  • Meeting with office of the BC Seniors Advocate
  • Webinar hosted with BC Transit and Meridian Rehabilitation on the HandyDART mobility assessment pilot project
  • Exhibit at Walk Now for Autism Speaks Event
  • Exhibit at WorksafeBC Health Care Professional Conference

October 2015

  • Meeting with Ministry of Health Assistant Deputy Minister Ted Patterson to discuss how occupational therapy can assist government to achieve goals outlines in  2015 policy papers
  • Meeting with office of the BC Seniors Advocate to discuss the April 2015 report,   Placement, Drugs and Therapy…We Can Do Better
  • Meetings with community partners regarding the recent changes to ICBC Recovery Services
  • Exhibit at Rehab Equipment Expo
  • CarFit presentation at Rehab Equipment Expo

November 2015

  • Exhibits at 6 Talk to an OT events across BC
  • Presentation and exhibit at the Pharmasave Wellness Expo
  • Meeting of the BC Workforce Collaborative (health human resource planning for occupational therapy)
  • Representation at Fraser Health Bridges 

December 2015

  • Meeting with Ministry of Advanced Education and Ministry of Health staff to present the results of the private sector workforce study (UBC and CAOT-BC)
  • Health Sciences Association of BC- Professional Associations Meeting
  • Meetings with the Electronic Health Library of BC (e-health  bc  )

January 2014

  • Meeting of the Dysphagia Practice Network
  • Meeting between CAOT-BC and OSM-V
  • Meeting with BC Association of Social Workers, Advocacy Chair
  • Representation at Disability White Paper in-person consultations
  • Meeting of the Professional Alliance of Canada

February 2014

March 2014

  • Presentation to University of Alberta MOT class
  • CAOT-BC meeting with Val Avery, President of the Health Sciences Association of BC

April 2014

  • Meeting of the Kids in Motions Conference Organizing Committee (CAOT-BC is a member of this group)
  • First meeting with First Nations Health Authority
  • Interview with reporter for article on the risks associated with sedentary behaviour (to be published in HR Professional)
  • CAOT-BC attended the Health Sciences Associ Meeting of the Kids in Motions Conference Organizing Committee (CAOTBC is a member of this group)
  • CAOT-BC attended the Health Sciences Association 2-day Convention
  • Meeting of the BC Workforce Collaborative “What is Occupational Therapy” presentation to Vancouver Community College massage therapy class

May 2014

June 2014

  • Health Sciences Association of BC Professional Associations Meeting
  • Disability White Paper Summit
  • Meeting with PainBC
  • Meeting of the Professional Alliance of Canada
  • Letters to British Columbia Ministers of Advanced Education, Health, Children and Family Development, Social Development and Social Innovation and Premier Clark on the issue of the need for more training spaces for the occupational therapy program at UBC

July 2014

  • Host to 1st Annual CAOT-BC Networking and Professional Development Day
  • Working with UBC planning for a human resource planning project
  • Meeting with BCAA to begin planning for the first  CarFit  event in BC
  • Meeting of the CarFit Organizing Committee
  • Meeting with the President of the Council of Senior Citizens Organizations of British Columbia
  • Participation in Government of BC Short-Form RFP training
  • Meeting with the Executive Director CNIB (BC & Yukon)
  • Follow-up letters to British Columbia Ministers of Advanced Education, Health, Children and Family Development, Social Development and Social Innovation and Premier Clark on the issue of the need for more training spaces for the occupational therapy program at UBC

August 2014

  • Working with UBC planning for a human resource planning project
  • Exhibit at Capstone Conference

September 2014

  • Meeting between BC Workforce Collaborative and Ministry of Advanced Education and Ministry of Health representatives
  • Meeting with ICBC
  • Meeting with SafeCare BCExhibit at the Rehab Equipment Expo
  • Exhibit at WorksafeBC Health Professional Conference

October 2014

  • Representation at Driver Fitness Advisory Group, Roadsafety BC
  • Representation at stakeholder meeting regarding Government of BC equipment procurement process
  • CarFit Technician Training and Consumer Check-up Event
  • Exhibit at Stroke Congress 2014
  • Presentation to UBC MOTII class
  • Presentation to rehab assistant program, Capilano University
  • Presentation to massage therapy class, Vancouver College
  • Presentation to Fraser Health Bridges
  • Meeting of the BC Workforce Collaborative

Public Awareness Campaign 

In 2015, CAOT-BC began working with The Pace Group on our public awareness campaign. The aim of this project is to build awareness about our profession to the public, media and government and raise the profile of occupational therapy in BC. 

Campaign Activity

Campaign activity is organized in a three phase approach:

Phase 1: Development of Key Message & Collection of OT Success Stories

CAOT-BC and Pace Group worked collaboratively to develop the  key message  . The message is the foundation for our “case for support” and was finalized by April 2015.  Read the key message  .

Success stories that highlight the unique contributions of OTs and demonstrate the value of OT were gathered for use in Phase 2 of the campaign.

Phase 2: Government & Media Relations

This phase included a meeting between CAOT-BC and the Premier’s office as well as a media relations “tour” of 7 large cities to meet with MLAs and participate in media opportunities (television, newspaper, radio). Giovanna Boniface was the the key contact for the tour, however, local occupational therapists were encouraged to participate by sharing stories and attending meetings along with CAOT-BC.

An  advocacy training webinar   was held on June 18, 2015 supporting occupational therapists to attend MLA meetings. An MLA letter-writing campaign was also part of this phase. 

Here are the highlights of the Government, Media & Public Relations Activities:

  • Managing Director Giovanna Boniface attended an MLA day hosted by the Canadian Society of Association Executives (BC) in Victoria on May 11, 2015;
  • Media release  about the need for more occupational therapists in BC circulated on May 11, 2015
  • CAOT-BC was  interviewed on CKNW News Talk 980  on May 17, 2015
  • News article  published on AM730 on May 17, 2015
  • Letter of the day- published in the  Vancouver Sun  on May 19, 2015
  • Interview on  Global TV  on May 23, 2015
  • CBC interview  on the topic of standing desks in response to a New Westminster school adding them to the classrooms on June 8, 2015
  • Breakfast Television interview  for Brain Injury Awareness Month- June 18, 2015
  • Letter to the editor published in The Prince George Citizen
  • Meeting with Greater Victoria MLAs to promote the value of occupational therapy and the need to increase access to services
  • Talk to an OT events at  five (5) Shoppers Home Health locations across the province during OT month 2015
  • Meeting with Minister of Health, Honorable Terry Lake during Occupational Therapy month (October 2015)
  • Meeting with Ministry of Advanced Education representatives (October 2015)
  • Meeting with Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation, Honorable Michelle Stilwell (October 2015)
  • Meeting with Ministry of Advanced Education and Ministry of Health staff presenting results of private sector workforce study (December 2015)
  •  Meeting with MP Mark Warawa (Official Opposition Critic for Seniors) to discuss how occupational therapy can contribute to the health and well-being of seniors
  •  Letter to the editor, responding to the recent changes to the Community Care and Assisted Living Act, published by the Penticton Western News on March 29, 2016
  •  Letter to the editor of the Vancouver Sun, responding to the editorial “   Appalling seniors care must be addressed” (  April 6, 2016  )
  • Invited guest, Home Medical Equipment Dealer Association of BC (HMEDA-BC) Annual General Meeting, highlighting collaborative work on initiatives of mutual interest
  • Participation in the Rural & Remote Recruitment and Retention Initiatives Project, Wester & Northern Health Human Resources Forum
  • Meeting with Minister of Children and Family Development, Stephanie Cadieux
  • Presentation to Select Standing Committee on Health  (July 7, 2016)
  • Meeting with Dr. Darryl Plecas, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health on   Seniors
  • Meeting with Judy Darcy, MLA, Opposition Spokesperson for Health and Deputy Chair of the Select Standing Committee on Health. Discussion topics included workforce planning, improving access to OT for British Columbians and OT contribution the health and well-being of seniors.

Phase 3: Government Relations - Day at the Legislature

The  Day at the Legislature  took place on May12th, 2016. The day included a meeting with Minister Cadieux, a tour of BC legislature, introductions to the house by Minister of Health Terry Lake, a lunch meeting with MLA Dr. Darryl Plecas and a CAOT-BC open house attended by 20-25 MLAs or their representatives. 

The purpose of this day was to awareness of occupational therapy, speak to the distinct contribution of occupational therapy to the health care system as well as discuss workforce needs.

A sincere thanks to all the CAOT-BC member volunteers to contributed to the day at the legislature, and throughout this 18-month campaign.

CAOT-BC will build on the campaign and continue with public awareness and government relations activities over the long-term in order to raise the profile of the profession so that it is understood that occupational therapy is vital to the healthcare system.

If you would like to volunteer in campaign efforts, send an email to  caotbc@caot.ca