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CVMA Establishes Diversity and Inclusion Working Group

October 5, 2020

The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) commits to diversity and inclusion and rejects discrimination or harassment based on grounds such as race, colour, ancestry, ethnic origin, place of origin, age, creed, religion, sex, gender identity, family status, marital status, or disability. We affirm that each human being is valuable and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.

The wellbeing of our society and our profession is vital. The CVMA commits to continuing to develop and make accessible its services without bias and to promote diversity and inclusion.

The CVMA also supports existing veterinary college programs which encourage inclusivity and diversity and allow for equitable selection of students. We support continued actions taken by our Canadian associations, government and educational institutions to make veterinary education more accessible for underrepresented and minority groups.

We support the open dialogue of our membership on these issues and stand united with our veterinarians, veterinary students and allied veterinary team members who face discrimination

The CVMA has established a Diversity and Inclusion Working Group which will:

  • formulate a definition of diversity and inclusion related to veterinary medicine in Canada;
  • gather information on how other national veterinary bodies have assessed needs and responses to this issue;
  • identify high priority steps to further address this issue and help ensure our support of inclusion and diversity within the Canadian veterinary profession, and our desire to see all people treated with dignity and respect is experienced by our members.

Working Group Members include:

  • Dr. Jim Berry, Small Animal Practitioner, Deputy Registrar NBVMA, Past CVMA President (Chair)
  • Ms. Svetlana Ponsin, President of the Students of the CVMA (SCVMA) and CVMA Council Member
  • Dr. Baljit Singh, Dean UCVM
  • Dr. Melodie Chan, Manager, Zoetis, Large Animal Practitioner, Founder and past Chair of CVMA Emerging Leaders Program 
  • Dr. Charlotte Williams, Mixed Animal Practitioner, Past SVMA President
  • Dr. Malinda Smith, Vice-Provost Equity, University of Calgary