Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Tobacco & Health, v2: CTCRI Funding Cuts

A letter from Dr Roberta Ferrence, in response to news that the Canadian Tobacco Control Research Initiative will no longer accept applications after 01 April 2009:

Dear Colleagues,

We were all deeply disappointed by the recent news that the Canadian Tobacco Control Research Initiative will not be accepting new applications after April 1. We are grateful to Roy Cameron, Cheryl Moyer, Marie Chia and numerous other staff, as well as the funding partners, CIHR, NCIC (CCS), Health Canada and the Heart and Stroke Foundation, who brought CTCRI into being and nurtured it for the past decade. During that time, we have grown from a small community of researchers and a few students to several hundred active and committed tobacco control researchers, practitioners and decision makers. We are optimistic that this community will continue to contribute in a major way to public health in Canada.

At this week's Ottawa Workshop, Best Practices to Target 12% by 2011, sponsored by Health Canada and CTCRI, we heard from Marie Chia about the implications of the CTCRI decision and potential next steps. At that time, OTRU offered to coordinate efforts to ensure that tobacco control research and capacity building will continue to garner funding from alternative sources that understand its importance.

To support this process, we will pull together information on alternative sources of funding for investigator and student research, conference travel and workshops, and identify specific programs that may provide support for the specific initiatives funded by CTCRI. This will be distributed shortly as an OTRU update.

We will also bring together contact information for key individuals and suggestions for content to support individual letter writing, so that you can communicate your own stories about the benefits of tobacco specific funding programs.

We will in touch soon and look forward to working with you.

Best regards,


Roberta Ferrence, PhD,
Executive Director,
Ontario Tobacco Research Unit
University of Toronto and Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Thursday, 26 March 2009


I had a nice little visit to good 'ol H-town yesterday ... always feels like a fun homecoming when i step on campus! minus the TP and kegstands, of course=)

In all seriousness - it was great to have the opportunity to drop in on a couple classes, which in more ways than one helped inspire some of my own thoughts about how to develop a class or two in the not too distant future.

A big shoutout is in order to KT and the the students of 4JJ3 & 4TT3 - you all have enormous futures, and I can't wait to hear about what's next!


Monday, 9 March 2009


Just spreading the word about I Vote Toronto's campaign to extend municipal voting rights to non-citizen permanent residents.

Check out the Maytree Foundation's think piece for the argument's in favour @

and visit http://www.ivotetoronto.org to learn more about the campaign and how to get involved.

26 countries so far, including the United Kingdom, Portugal, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, Chile, Barbados and Australia have to date enacted similar laws, which have been considered an important step in better engagement of newcomers in civic life.