Each year, Diabetes Canada recognizes the contributions of our advocates who have made a difference in the fight against diabetes.

This annual award recognizes a member of the Diabetes Canada Professional Sections (Clinical and Scientific Section; Diabetes Educator Section), National Advocacy Council or a Provincial Advocacy Committee, or a grassroots advocacy volunteer or group who has demonstrated exemplary leadership, commitment and dedication in advancing public policy in the interests of Canadians at risk of or living with diabetes and in accordance with Diabetes Canada’s advocacy plan. 

Read more about the National Advocacy Leadership Award

Award Recipients

John Paul Morrison
Unsafe at School

The Unsafe at School parent advocacy group initiated and led a successful advocacy campaign which influenced decision makers to make important policy changes in British Columbia to ensure children living with diabetes in schools are safe and encouraged to manage their diabetes throughout the school day and receive the individual support they require in order to optimize their health.

Read more about Kids with Diabetes at School

Tammy MacLaren
New Glasgow, Nova Scotia

In January 2013, Tammy created an online petition to urge the government to fund insulin pumps in Nova Scotia. Together with Diabetes Canada’s advocacy work, including diabetes advocate meetings with MLAs, Tammy’s petition raised awareness about the benefit of insulin pumps for individuals living with type 1 diabetes. The petition received media attention and almost 6000 signatures. The Nova Scotia pediatric insulin pump program was launched in September 2013.

See provincial pump coverage across Canada

Shawn Shepheard


During his years of volunteer service on both Diabetes Canada’s National Advocacy Council and the Ontario Advocacy Committee, Shawn advocated to the Canadian public, governments, non-government organizations and the media on behalf of Canadians living with diabetes who are burdened by the out-of-pocket costs of diabetes medication, devices and supplies.  As a self-employed entrepreneur, Shawn did not have an employer benefit plan to help cover the cost of his medication, devices and supplies, so he was able to share his story with decision makers about the cost of living with diabetes.  Shawn has been a keen advocate for public coverage of the tools required to help Canadians with diabetes live a healthy life.

Peter McDougall
New Brunswick

While serving as a member of the Diabetes Canada’s National Advocacy Council and as a dedicated diabetes advocate in New Brunswick, Peter has advocated to all levels of government on behalf of the diabetes community in Canada.  Along with other diabetes advocates from across the country, Peter has met with federal Members of Parliament in Ottawa on issues important to people living with diabetes, including enhanced tax credits.  He has also met with his MLA and other decision makers in his province to discuss the burden of living with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes and to offer Diabetes Canada’s public policy recommendations.  Peter is a very knowledgeable advocate and can speak to the many issues that have serious and long-term effects on the physical, emotional and financial quality of life for people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Andrew Lawrence and Derek Lawrence

Father and son diabetes advocates led the successful Diabetes Canada advocacy campaign for a publicly funded pediatric pump program in Ontario.  Andrew and Derek demonstrated an insulin pump to MPPs and explained its benefit to people living with type 1 diabetes.  As a result of the work of Diabetes Canada’s diabetes advocates, in particular Andrew and Derek, the government of Ontario introduced the first insulin pump program in Canada in 2006.

Provincial insulin pump and supply programs

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