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Updated: Jul 19, 2021

Open Letter to Premier Jason Kenney

December 29, 2020


Red Deer – Mountain View, AB

Red tape has a significant negative impact on small business owners. It results in wasted time and lost income. While the Alberta Government, under the United Conservative Party, has made great strides in reducing red tape since taking office in May 2019, there is always room for improvement.

One such area that requires improvement is Alberta Health Exemption Requests Approved for Exemption – Order 42-2020, dated December 22, 2020. While massage therapists appreciate the ability to re-open their practice, significant red tape must be overcome in order to do so.

The Order allows practitioners to provide massage therapy services “only when such massage services are provided to a patient or client upon issuance of prescription by a physician or referral by a member of another health regulatory body for the patient or client to receive massage therapy services.”

The requirement to provide a prescription or referral is problematic for two reasons:

  1. Government messaging has indicated that the general public should limit social contacts in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Requiring massage patients to visit a physician or member of another regulatory body for a prescription or referral, prior to attending a massage therapy treatment, goes against the spirit of current COVID-19 health measures.

  2. The requirement of a prescription or referral puts massage practitioners at a distinct disadvantage in relation to other practitioners in similar fields (chiropractor, physiotherapist).

While not regulated in the same manner as practitioners in similar fields, there are a number of regulatory bodies that do supervise massage therapists in Alberta including the Natural Health Practitioners of Canada. I urge you to discuss Order 42-2020 with Dr. Deena Hinshaw and remove the unnecessary red tape burden on massage therapists, many of whom are small business owners.


Jared Pilon

Candidate for Red Deer – Mountain View, AB

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