My name is Treena Duncan and I am honoured to have been elected as the President of the CCA. It is a tremendous honour and privilege to serve in this way. I live in Surrey, British Columbia, and am a member of the amazing Vancouver Chapter. I have been on the National board for four years. I have celiac disease, as do my two teen-aged children. The CCA has been a source of support and education on our celiac journey and I am thankful that they have been there for us. I have particularly benefited from the Facebook group, which is a great source of information and support moderated by the CCA. Check it out if you haven’t already!
I want to take a moment to acknowledge the gift of leadership offered to us by Anne Wraggett, now past president. Anne has led the organization through some challenging times, and her skill and commitment have ensured that the association will be there to advocate for Canadians with celiac disease or gluten intolerance for years to come. The national board is made up of committed volunteers, and I welcome new members, Janet Bolton and Tamara Close. We will benefit greatly from their amazing gifts and skills. Mark Johnson has completed his term on the board. We are truly grateful for all he has brought to the board table, and know that he will continue to offer leadership as president of the Ottawa Chapter, and as a dedicated national volunteer.
As we look to the coming year, the board is working toward fulfilling our three-year strategic plan. Top priorities for us are working closely with the chapters, evaluating our organizational structure to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in the services offered and creating a plan for financial sustainability. As you know, we are a not-for-profit organization and depend on membership and donations in order to continue our work. Our Executive Director, Melissa Secord has been a wonderful resource to the association and we are benefiting from her leadership in many ways. There is exciting research being conducted that will hopefully lead to major medical breakthroughs in the future. The CCA is proud to be able to support this research through our JA Campbell Research fund.
We have been engaging in work to improve access to safe foods. You are likely all aware of our Gluten-Free Certification Program which identifies through our trademark, safe foods in grocery stores. Just over one year ago, we partnered with the Gluten-Free Food Program (GFFP) which offers training and third party verification for food establishments serving gluten-free food. I know I find eating out very challenging, and this program will make finding safe places to eat so much easier! I was at the check-in desk of a hotel recently and listened as a celiac guest tried to identify safe restaurants in the area by asking a front desk clerk, who had no idea! I look forward to a time when this program is so prevalent that we will be able to point them to GFFP restaurants! We have also been busy advocating in Ontario, with great support from the community, to have the diagnostic blood screening test covered by provincial health insurance. Unfortunately, Ontario is the only province not cover the test. We hope that together our voice will motivate the new Ontario government to correct this injustice.
Finally, we are proud to have worked with the Canadian government and Frank Massong of the Allergen Control Group to complete research in the area of the delivery of safe grains and related products. This was a major three-year project which was recently completed. Delegates at the Ottawa conference were provided an overview. Watch for a special recording sharing the results and what this will mean for consumers. Thanks to David Congram, board member, who has been the lead on this project. David along with a number of other volunteers and staff have dedicated many hours to this project, which will serve to benefit us all.
I would love to hear from you about the ways in which the CCA can be of service to you. Please contact me at [email protected] with your ideas and suggestions.
President, CCA Board of Directors
Check out Treena’s new monthly video message!
We’re finding new ways to connect with you and keep you up to date on CCA news and activities. Watch for Treena’s message on our CCA Facebook Group or YouTube Channel. Her first one is now available. While you are there, check out some of our other topics and education sessions.