Epilepsy Cure Initiative

Past Events

Epilepsy Informative Session 2009

Date: March 31, 2009

There is much to be done to improve the lives of people with epilepsy particularly those with uncontrolled seizures.

On March 31, 2009, for the occasion of the Finale Celebration of March Epilepsy Awareness Month, Margaret Maye, initiated, established and organized along with Epilepsy Ontario an Epilepsy Information Session for Members of the Provincial Parliament of Ontario.

This Queen's Park event was very important and helpful in the promotion of epilepsy matters.

Our initiative brought together for the first time ever - 15 different epilepsy agencies across the province, medical professionals specializing in epilepsy care, leading epilepsy researchers and community organizations and united them for epilepsy cause to speak about epilepsy matters and advocate on behalf of people affected by epilepsy.

During EIS 2009, in attendance were clinicians and specialists in the field of the treatment of epilepsy, representatives from research institutions, and representatives of regional organizations. They were available all day to answer questions, and they held lengthy discussions with MPPs and other attendees who also received brochures and pages of information. This Epilepsy Information Session focused on three areas: awareness, research and care. Tables manned with hosts and information materials were grouped according to these themes.

Many politicians responded positively to our invitation. We had a great outcome that day with twenty MPPs attending, including 3 Ministers, 10 Parliamentary Assistants and ministry staff of different politicians. A number of promising contacts were initiated. We brought to their attention different epilepsy matters, with emphasis on three different areas: awareness, research and improvement of specialized care for those with epilepsy.

Laurel Broten MPP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore addressed the house with a brief summary about epilepsy and those that it effects, and she encouraged members of the House to take the time to learn more about epilepsy. During her address all the names of the participating organizations were mentioned and she asked for and received unanimous consent for members of the Legislature to wear a lavender ribbon in recognition of Epilepsy Awareness Month.

Our main messages from this event are found here
Transcript from Queen's Park can be found here

Next Epilepsy Informative Sessions at Queen's Park in Toronto and Parliament Hill in Ottawa are planned.

The following politicians participated in the Epilepsy Information Session 2009:

Hon Christopher Bentley MPP (London West) Commissioner Board of Internal Economy Liberal
Hon David Caplan MPP (Don Valley East) Minister of Health and Long Term Care Liberal
Hon John Wilkinson MPP (Perth - Wellington) Minister of Research and Innovation Liberal

Laura Albanese MPP (York South - Weston) Liberal
Robert Bailey MPP (Sarnia - Lambton)Conservative
Laurel C. Broten MPP (Etobicoke - Lakeshore) Liberal - Sponsor of the event
Michael A. Brown MPP (Algoma - Manitoulin) Liberal
Kim Craitor MPP (Niagara Falls) Liberal
Bruce Crozier MPP (Essex) Liberal
Darcie Renaud Executive Assistant office
Cheri DiNovo MPP (Parkdale - High Park) NDP
Garfield Dunlop MPP (Simcoe North) Conservative
France Gelinas MPP (Nickel Belt) NDP
Linda Jeffrey MPP (Brampton - Springdale) Liberal
Frank Klees MPP (Newmarket - Aurora) Conservative
Jean-Marc Lalonde MPP (Glengarry - Prescott - Russell) Liberal
Jeff Leal MPP (Peterborough) Liberal
Dave Levac MPP (Brant) Liberal
Rosario Marchese MPP (Trinity - Spadina) NDP
Paul Miller MPP (Hamilton East - Stoney Creek) NDP
Bill Murdoch MPP (Bruce - Grey - Owen Sound) Independent
John O'Toole MPP (Durham) Conservative
Khalil Ramal MPP (London - Fanshawe) Liberal
Maria Van Bommel MPP (Lambton - Kent - Middlesex) Liberal
Miriam Barna Researcher NDP
Jesse FlisCanadian Association of Former Parliamentarians Liberal

Among the experts and organizations were present:

Cecil Hahn Neurologist Hospital for Sick Children
Richard Wennberg Neurologist President of The Canadian League Against Epilepsy, Toronto Western Hospital
McIntyre Burnham Pharmacologist Faculty of Medicine, U of T, Director of the University of Toronto Epilepsy Research Program, UTERP
Mary Pat Mc Andrews Neuropsychologist Toronto Western Hospital
Kathryn Hum and Melanie Jeffrey U of T - (SACEC) Society for the Advancement of Comprehensive Epilepsy Care
Tamzin Jeffs Co-founder SUDEP Aware
Gula Aitkulova Epilepsy Ontario
Dianne McKenzie Executive Director Epilepsy Durham, Canadian Epilepsy Alliance
Geof Bobb Executive Director Epilepsy Toronto
Paul RaymondExecutive Director Epilepsy, York Region
Margaret Maye, Gary Neumann, Thomas Drag Epilepsy Activists Epilepsy Cure Initiative

Several invited honoured guests were present and among them:

Jan CytowskiThe President of the Canadian Polish Congress Toronto District
Marek CiesielczukThe Consul General of the Republic of Poland

As well as other representatives of several other organizations and the media.