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CMTA wants to continue talks to get Ontario back

The Canadian Massage Therapy Alliance (CMTA) has urged Ontario’s massage therapist association to rejoin the CMTA, saying the alliance is open to addressing Ontario’s concerns regarding its participation.

September 13, 2013  By Mari-Len De

In an open letter addressed to the massage therapy profession in Canada,
CMTA chair Marilyn Sparling wrote the following: “If structural changes
are needed, then Ontario is welcome to participate in change. If there
are any other concerns that prevent RMTAO (Registered Massage Therapist
Association of Ontario) from participating in the alliance we will be
happy to address them.”

The letter also responded to several
posts on the RMTAO Facebook page discussing the RMTAO’s 2011 withdrawal
as a member of the CMTA. The subject posts were from July 2013.

her letter, Sparling quoted RMTAO chief executive officer Bryn
Sumpton’s comment on one of its member’s post asking the status of
RMTAO’s position on the CMTA and its national advocacy.

these statements, let it be said the CMTA proactively engaged in
exchanges with the RMTAO more than a year ago regarding any concerns
they may have had with the ‘structure’ of the alliance. These
correspondences were left last June (2012) with the assurance there
would be a letter forthcoming by the fall 2012 from the board of the
RMTAO to the CMTA explaining their issues. This letter or any further
communication regarding this matter has never been sent,” Sparling said
in her letter.


The RMTAO is preparing to issue a position
statement that, Sumpton said, will summarize the structure and vision
that RMTAO would like to see in a national massage therapy alliance.

told Massage Therapy Canada discussions between the RMTAO and the CMTA
are continuing, but declined to disclose the details of those

“Our discussions with the CMTA are private, internal
discussions that we generally don’t share with other provincial
associations, for example, or publicly,” Sumpton said.

He did enumerate some of RMTAO’s position regarding a national massage therapy alliance.

needs to be clear that it’s an alliance of provincial and territorial
organizations or associations, rather than a national association for
individual massage therapists,” Sumpton said.

He added, “They
have to have a clear vision and purpose that is articulated and that it
is shared with the vision of our association. For example, if there is a
dissention, each association has the right to agree or disagree with
statements by the group as a whole, especially when it’s in conflict
with an individual association’s bylaws and policies in their own

The RMTAO also wants to ensure that membership in the
alliance “isn’t unsustainable or heavily burdensome in terms of human
resources or cost,” Sumpton said.

The RMTAO has developed a draft
position statement for the alliance, which it opened up for member
comments earlier this year. The association is currently finalizing that
document, which is expected to be released in the fall, according to

In her letter, Sparling said the CMTA is “keen to have
(RMTAO’s) participation and welcome your vision in this national

“We firmly believe that only by working together as a
national profession can our goals and visions be achieved for the
profession and, more importantly, the health care needs of Canadians be
addressed from coast to coast,” Sparling said.

The RMTAO withdrew
its membership from the CMTA in 2011. Then RMTAO board chair Amanda
Baskwill explained the reason for the association’s withdrawal in her
2011 Annual Report.

“Following the (2011) spring meeting, the
RMTAO board of directors decided not to renew their membership with the
CMTA due to the amount of financial and human resources that would have
been required to participate in this organization,” Baskwill wrote.

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