Dear friends and colleagues:

I’m privileged to be taking over as CCMG President at such a positive time in the College’s history. Just over three weeks ago we completed a very successful 2014 annual conference in Vancouver, thanks in no small part to our Conference Manager, Donna Dennison, our Association Manager, Heather Dow, and the crew of talented staff at Events Management Plus, our office in Kingston.  Since EM+ assumed management of the CCMG in 2013, our conference sponsorship has soared.  I would also like to acknowledge the work of the Scientific Program Committee, Chaired by David Chitayat, who was instrumental in developing the meeting theme and ensuring the talks were relevant and of high quality.  Thinking beyond the meeting, having been privy to the “behind the scenes” work of the CCMG for many years now, I cannot overemphasize the outstanding contributions made by our outgoing President Marsha Speevak and Secretary Stacey Hume. Finally, I’d like to congratulate and acknowledge our 2014 award winners: Judith Allanson, Diane Allingham-Hawkins and Julien Marcadier.

The CCMG relies on volunteerism, as you know, so I would like to draw your attention to the fact that Tracy Stockley (now a new Board member) provided us with a helpful summary of the ISO/Technical Committee Meeting that she attended on our behalf in Toronto in October.

The CCMG has been working diligently in the 3 weeks since our conference.  With the help of the Nominations Committee, Chaired by Hélène Bruyère, we have finalized our committee lists in record time.  The lists have been distributed to Chairs and we’ve provided Chairs with a set of instructions and tools to help them do their job effectively.  Our management office is in the process of sending letters to welcome our new committee members and thank those who are retiring.  Consistent with our focus on exams as a priority issue for the CCMG, we’ve had a teleconference to capitalize on the excellent recommendations of the Ad hoc Exam Reform Committee (whose mandate is now complete) and are moving forward with an Exam Advisory Group, ably Co-Chaired by Judy Chernos and Harriet Feilotter, who have already clarified the group’s mandate and organized a teleconference for mid-December.  We also just completed our first Board of Directors teleconference – and there is no shortage of tasks ahead of us. 

I am pleased to report that the media attention generated by CHEO’s patent challenge precipitated an invitation to meet with Senator James Cowan, leader of the senate opposition. I have been asked to testify, on behalf of the CCMG, in support of Senator Cowan’s genetic non-discrimination bill. The bill and related information can be found at:

http://www.parl.gc.ca/content/hoc/Bills/412/Private/S-201/S-201_1/S-201_1.PDF
http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/Sen/Chamber/412/Debates/032db_2014-02-05-e.htm?Language=E#34

The next 10 months will be very busy, but I am already looking forward to seeing everyone here in Ottawa from September 9-12, 2015 when the fall colors should be beautiful.  Our meeting location, the Westin Hotel, is attached to the Rideau Centre, Ottawa’s largest shopping mall – and only steps from the Byward market bars and restaurants.  Our hotel is also across the street from the Rideau Canal and within easy walking distance of the Chateau Laurier, Parliament Hill and the Sparks St. pedestrian mall.  As many of you know, this will be our last fall meeting and the last joint meeting with the CAGC – at least for a few years.  In June 2016 we converge on Edmonton in a trial joint meeting with the Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists, and we’ve suggested that the Garrod Association may wish to plan their meeting adjacent to ours.

 

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