Ontario veterinarians choose Dr. Dale Scott as president of Ontario Vets Association

by Alicia McCutcheon

MINDEMOYA—Mindemoya veterinarian Dr. Dale Scott, of Scott Veterinary Services, has recently been named president of the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA), the voice of the large majority of the province’s veterinarians.

The Expositor caught up with the new president at his Mindemoya practice on Monday and learned that Dr. Scott has already been hard at work in his new role, chairing a meeting of the OVMA at the end of February.

“The OVMA represents the vets of Ontario, similar to the way the OMA (Ontario Medical Association) represents doctors in Ontario,” Dr. Scott explained. “We’re the voice for veterinarians of Ontario.”

Dr. Scott was nominated to the executive of the OVMA three years ago, but has been a board member for some time, regionally elected, and has represented Northern Ontario and the issues of the vets in this region at the board level for a decade.

Dr. Scott will be chairing seven different OVMA meetings over the course of the year, plus two scheduled meetings with the College of Veterinarians of Ontario (the licensing and professional oversight body), conferences and other commitments.

Dr. Scott has always taken a very active role in the Farley Foundation, too, part of the OVMA umbrella. The Farley Foundation assists people in need by subsidizing the cost of veterinary care thanks to donations from the veterinary community in Ontario, corporate sponsors and pet owners. The president has assisted in this way by helping to organize the Ride for Farley, an annual event that sees Ontario vets cycle to raise funds for the charity—two of Dr. Scott’s greatest passions, animals and cycling.

(Farley is the English sheep dog of ‘For Better or For Worse’ cartoon fame and a creation of Lynn Johnston of North Bay and is an homage to the much-loved canine after he passed away in the strip, saving the life of April Patterson, an ongoing character in the cartoon.)

“In January, the Foundation was opened up to those on Ontario Works,” he said proudly.

Dr. Scott also raises money for the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides.

In his “spare time,” Dr. Scott also organizes the annual Tour de Meldrum cycling event from Mindemoya to Meldrum Bay, which raises funds for the Manitoulin Health Centre, is a member of the Central Manitoulin Lions Club, the Mindemoya Arena advisory board, the Mindemoya drainage advisory board and is chair of Mindemoya Missionary Church board.

Dr. Scott is looking forward to the OVMA’s five-year strategic planning session to be held this April, as well as meeting with the College of Veterinarians of Ontario.

“We’re always working with the College of Veterinarians on its rules and regulations that impact our members and their practices,” he explained. He gave the example of record keeping regulations. “The amount we do is regulated by the college, but if it’s that restrictive that it affects day-to-day-practice, we will be the voice for our members.”

One of Dr. Scott’s goals is to have a better dialogue with the college, he said. “We’re always going to be at a different place in our organization, but there’s common ground there.”

The president spoke on new quality assurance rules as set out by the college whereby vets must earn a certain number of credits each year through record review, continued education and seminars and workshops. “We need to make sure this is achievable and not restrictive to practice,” Dr. Scott said.

The OVMA also works with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), he added.

The pit bull ban is another issue that is of special interest to the OVMA, Dr. Scott continued, noting that they have been working with MPPs to have the bill repealed.

“The OVMA is not in favour of picking out one breed of dog to ban, but believe dogs that are vicious in nature should have restrictions, perhaps even more severe than they are now,” he explained.

Dr. Scott graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College, part of the University of Guelph, in 1976, and has spent his entire career on Manitoulin and, according to the OVMA website, has always held a number of leadership roles including: executive member and president of the Designated Area Veterinary Association, executive member and president of the Northern Ontario Veterinary Association, chair of the discipline and Registration Committee of the College of Veterinarians of Ontario and chair of OVMA’s Large Animal Issues Committee.

“I’m looking forward to making our profession the best it can be,” he concluded.