The National Advocacy Council (NAC) leads the Canadian Diabetes Association in advocating our positions and policies to the Canadian public, governments, non-government organizations and the media on behalf of the diabetes community in Canada.

The NAC advises the CDA on the use of political and public affairs strategies that will help us achieve our advocacy objectives. NAC membership include volunteer representation from each of the Pacific, Prairies, Ontario and Atlantic areas.

NAC Membership 2016: Michael Swartz (CDA National Board); Carol-Ann Smith (CDA Regional Director); Andrea Kwasnicki (CDA Regional Director); Dr. Carol Huang (CDA Clinical & Scientific Section); Katherine Younker (CDA Diabetes Educator Section); Ellen Stensholt (Diabetes Advocate, BC); Rosalin Miles (Special Advisor, BC); Emily Johnson (Diabetes Advocate, AB); Peter Dickinson (Diabetes Advocate, SK); Peggy Archer (Diabetes Advocate, MB); Stacey Anne Livitski (Diabetes Advocate, ON); Michelle Corcoran (Diabetes Advocate, NB); Dawn Gallant (Diabetes Advocate, NL)

To contact the NAC, send an email to

Message from the NAC Chair 2016: Emily Johnson

I am a wife, mother, registered nurse and a diabetes educator. I have lived with Type 1 diabetes for 30 years and I must admit that one of the positive effects of my diagnosis was that it lead me to the Canadian Diabetes Association and its volunteer opportunities.

One of these that is near and dear to my heart is advocacy. As such, I would like to thank my NAC colleagues for electing me as chair for 2016.

The National Advocacy Council is made up of a group of passionate volunteers and CDA staff who are committed to helping people living with diabetes face the challenges related to their disease.

Our role is to influence elected officials, policy makers, public figures and the general public to support policies, programs and funding that will increase awareness and affect positive change for those affected by diabetes.

We do this by working with provincial and grassroots advocates and by developing and acting on initiatives of importance to the diabetes community.

Our advocacy initiatives going forward are based on the Associations 2016 Strategic Priorities and include the following:

  • helping Canadians make healthy eating choices
  • helping children and young adults with Type 1 live to their full potential
  • helping improve diabetes management
  • helping prevent Type 2 diabetes

One of the most important advocacy tools developed by the CDA is the Diabetes Charter. It is designed to be used by anyone affected by diabetes and clearly outlines what people with diabetes can and should expect from themselves , governments, health care providers, schools, workplaces, and the CDA. We encourage you to please go online and add your name to the thousands who are supporting this document.

It is said that the voice that gets heard is the voice of individuals speaking up for themselves.

The power to change the future lies within each of us.

We are always looking for volunteers, so if you want to share your passion to make a difference, contact us at

Best wishes,

Provincial/Territorial Advocacy Committees

Advocacy Committees (ACs) serve to implement the goals and objectives of the CDA’s Strategic Advocacy Plan. They also identify provincial and territorial specific advocacy priorities and develop strategies to address these priorities. Chaired by a member of the National Advocacy Council, each of the committees coordinates advocacy efforts and builds volunteer advocacy capacity for the province/territory it represents.

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