Toronto, Ontario, May 18, 2022

The Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND) is celebrating Naturopathic Medicine Week from May 15 to 21. Launched nationally by the CAND in 2000, the annual awareness campaign celebrates the value of naturopathic medicine, highlighting naturopathic doctors (NDs) and their role in supporting the health and wellness of Canadians from coast to coast to coast.


The CAND works closely with its approximately 3,000 members, including practicing NDs and students, to raise awareness of the profession and the many health benefits of naturopathic medicine as part of an integrated, holistic approach to healthcare.


Naturopathic medicine blends the healing power of nature with modern, scientific knowledge to offer a new perspective on safe and effective ways to restore health. NDs work with patients to identify the root causes of disease and to address all the factors that are affecting their health. Addressing a variety of health concerns, including acute and chronic conditions, naturopathic medicine can ease symptoms and help to reduce the use of prescription medications, making it a valuable complement to conventional treatments. The scope of naturopathic medicine includes botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, homeopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine/Acupuncture, lifestyle counselling, disease prevention and general health promotion.


“Naturopathic Medicine Week is an opportunity to showcase the talent and value of NDs and the distinctive philosophy that accompanies the profession,” says Dr. Mark Fontes, ND and Chair of the CAND. “More people than ever before are turning to naturopathic medicine to maintain or improve their overall health and well-being.”


To learn more about naturopathic medicine, read our ND perspectives or visit


For more information, please contact:

Shawn O’Reilly

Executive Director, Director of Government Relations

Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors

[email protected]

Naturopathic Doctors become the first profession regulated under the

Health and Social Services Professions Act in the Northwest Territories

Posted March 11, 2022

The Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors and the Northwest Territories Association of Naturopathic Doctors applaud the territorial government’s milestone decision which will support patient choice for primary health care.


YELLOWKNIFE, NWT March 8, 2022 – The Northwest Territories Association of Naturopathic Doctors (NTAND) is pleased to announce that naturopathic doctors are the first profession to be regulated under the Health and Social Services Professions Act (HSSPA) in the Northwest Territories (NWT).


This milestone decision, effective March 1, 2022, follows 11 years of advocacy championed by Dr. Nicole Redvers, ND, and supported by the Naturopathic Profession Regulation Advisory Committee and the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND).


“Naturopathic doctors are skilled, highly trained and committed to providing superior quality naturopathic care.  As a regulated profession, we join a circle of care that seeks to provide comprehensive and responsive health services to people and communities across the Northwest Territories,” said Dr. Kyla Wright, ND and president of the NTAND. “We are thankful for the efforts of so many in our journey to become the first profession regulated under the Health and Social Services Professions Act.”


Professional regulation is an important step to ensure safe and high-quality naturopathic care for residents of the NWT. Naturopathic doctors are accountable to a code of ethics and standards of practice. They also have completed extensive education and must maintain a license to practice in the NWT . The public can be assured of the professional standards and training that a naturopathic doctor must meet in order to practice.


The NWT is the first territory to regulate naturopathic doctors in Canada, a significant step, both locally and nationally as the territory joins British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia in supporting patient choice. This decision will reinforce the vision for excellence in naturopathic care, in which naturopathic doctors have the tools and resources to provide high-quality care and where all people have access to the type of primary health care they want.


“This important milestone in the advocacy of naturopathic doctors across Canada, and specifically in the Northwest Territories, is a key indication that political leaders recognize the value that naturopathic medicine has in the primary health care of Canadians,” said Dr. Mark Fontes, ND and chair of the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors. “I applaud this decision by Premier Cochrane and Minister of Health and Social Service, the Hon. Julie Green.”


For more information, please contact:



Dr. Kyla Wright, ND                                                                                                                               Shawn O’Reilly,

Northwest Territories Association of Naturopathic Doctors                                                         Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors

[email protected]                                                                                                     [email protected]

Statement from the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND) regarding Alberta ND’s false claims about COVID-19 prevention


March 8, 2020 / TORONTO

Dr. Mark Fontes, ND


We have been made aware of false and misleading statements made by a naturopathic doctor (ND) licensed to practice in Alberta and CAND member regarding COVID-19 prevention, recently covered by CBC News.


First and foremost, the CAND reiterates that all NDs must follow the guidelines for COVID19 established by their local public health agencies and refer to the Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) steps for safe and reasonable prevention of the COVID-19 virus, as well as information prepared specifically for health care professionals by the PHAC. Beyond these measures, there are no proven methods for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 claims otherwise made by any health professional are invalid and should be reported immediately to applicable regulators.


We regret that a CAND member may have negatively impacted efforts to safeguard public health and pandemic management with misleading statements. Naturopathic medicine is a regulated health profession in Alberta and the CAND fully supports the regulatory process of the College of Naturopathic Doctors of Alberta. Furthermore, the CAND is committed to taking any action required in accordance with our by-laws.


Finally, we have reengaged all CAND members to reiterate the following message which has already been communicated to them on at least two occasions and posted on our member website for reference: “NDs cannot treat COVID-19. NDs must follow the protocols and guidelines of their local public health authorities as well as any requirements of the regulatory authorities in jurisdictions where the profession is regulated.”


In the meantime, we will continue working with the PHAC and the broader health care community to provide correct and effective information to Canadians on COVID-19.


Dr. Mark Fontes, ND

CAND Chair.

Dr. Mark Fontes, ND, is Chair of the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND), practices at Insight Naturopathic Clinic in Toronto and is part time faculty at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. Shawn O’Reilly is Executive Director and Director of Government Relations for CAND

 Statement in Response to Recent Media on Cornwall’s Decision to Provide Funding to Local ND


Read below or download


November 6, 2019

Dr. Mark Fontes, ND


The Chair of the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND), Dr. Mark Fontes, ND, today issued the following statement in response to recent media coverage of Cornwall city council’s decision to provide funding to a local naturopathic doctor:


“The CAND applauds Cornwall city council’s innovative approach to improving its downtown area and supports its decision to help fund improvements to a building that will house a new naturopathic clinic. Naturopathic medicine plays an important role in well-rounded, comprehensive health care. It is complementary to the care provided by physicians as evidenced by the increasing collaboration and co-management of patients by medical doctors (MDs) and naturopathic doctors (NDs). This decision will no doubt have a positive impact on the overall health and well-being of Cornwall residents.


We are, however, disappointed to learn about criticisms of this funding decision published in the National Post and elsewhere, based on the assumption that Cornwall city council has not done its due diligence in reviewing the funding application and that councillors are somehow ‘confused’. This patronizing and unsubstantiated narrative is not only false, it does a disservice to Cornwall’s dedicated public servants and local residents who elected them.


The CAND and our members have only ever been forthcoming about the services NDs provide and the comprehensive training they are required to complete in order to be registered to practice in Ontario, a province where naturopathic medicine is regulated under the Regulated Health Professions Actthe same legislation that regulates MDs and nurses.


It is irresponsible to consistently platform the opinions of select individuals with demonstrated bias against the naturopathic profession without bothering to seek comment from the CAND or our regional member organizations. We were not contacted by the National Post regarding this story. We strongly call on all outlets to engage in good faith health care reporting going forward by centering patient well-being first and foremost, rather than the inflammatory agendas of a vocal few.


For more information, please contact:

Shawn O’Reilly

Executive Director and Director of Government Relations

Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND)

(416) 496-8633

[email protected]


Dr. Mark Fontes, ND, is Chair of the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND), practices at Insight Naturopathic Clinic in Toronto and is part time faculty at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. Shawn O’Reilly is Executive Director and Director of Government Relations for CAND

Naturopathic Medicine plays credible complementary role

in improving Canadians’ health


Read below or download


September 30, 2019

Dr. Mark Fontes, ND, and Shawn O’Reilly


Canada’s Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) are trained to address the fundamental causes of disease, treating the whole person through an individualized approach with a particular focus on prevention and wellness.


Yet, this is not the conclusion one reaches after reading a National Post article entitled Naturopathy is poised to ‘disrupt’ health-care status quo, proponents of controversial practice say, first published on September 27, 2019. The Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND) was not contacted to provide information or perspective for the piece.


The National Post article in question uses a recent academic article published in Medicina, a peer-reviewed scientific journal, as an opportunity to characterize the field of naturopathic medicine as “controversial”, “supernatural” “nonsense”.


We strongly challenge this characterization and maintain that the “evidence” used to support these unfair claims is incomplete, one-sided and lacking in journalistic integrity.


The Medicina article states that naturopathy has the potential to be a “disruptive innovation in health care.” In laymen’s terms, this means that using naturopathic medicine as a regular and systematic “first step” in health care could help divert those patients away from the conventional health system who do not need it – reducing costs and reallocating medical resources more effectively to better serve patients with the greatest need.


It is not “controversial” to want to improve health outcomes for Canadians by increasing the focus on prevention through closer collaboration between conventional and complementary health care professionals.


Indeed, the World Health Organization (WHO) has identified Traditional and Complementary Medicine (T&CM) – which includes naturopathic medicine – in a 2019 report as “an important and often underestimated health resource with many applications, especially in the prevention and management of lifestyle-related chronic diseases.”


In that report, the WHO Director General states that T&CM “would be an option offered by well-functioning, people-centered health systems that balances curative services with preventive care.”


The WHO regards T&CM, including naturopathic medicine, as a credible and realistic approach to eliminating health care inequality and achieving sustainable health care for all as a human right.


Despite this international recognition, the National Post article further attempts to dismiss NDs for apparently claiming “ownership” of preventative health.


Acknowledging that naturopathic medicine emphasizes a healthy lifestyle as a core preventative principle in no way negates the role of diet and exercise in conventional medical practice. Further, we would never purport that NDs are the owners of preventative health or that NDs “invented” the concepts of good diet and exercise as the article suggests.


To the contrary, that both MDs and NDs place high value on heathy lifestyles indicates the two professions are well-aligned on preventative health as evidenced by many successful collaborations between Canadian MDs and NDs on individual patient teams, combining and optimizing their respective expertise for the ultimate benefit of the patient.


Beyond incorrectly portraying naturopathic and conventional medicine as fundamentally in tension, we also take serious issue with the way in which the National Post article points to the tragedy of Ezekiel Stephan’s death as an indictment of NDs at large.


Let us be clear: David Stephan is not a naturopathic doctor. He and his wife did not use naturopathic medicine to treat their son nor did they bring their sick child to see an ND in person.


By all accounts, the ND involved acted ethically and responsibly in advising over the phone that the Stephans immediately take Ezekiel to hospital – advice they did not follow. The ND’s professional conduct is clear to anyone with a basic understanding of the events of this case, so much so that she acted as a material witness for the prosecution in David and Collet Stephan’s original trial and subsequent retrial.


The National Post article fails to include these important details, instead erroneously suggesting the ND was at fault and that David Stephan’s extremist views are somehow representative of our profession. This could not be further from the truth.


Finally, we contest claims made in the National Post article that anti-vaccine rhetoric “isn’t uncommon among naturopaths.” This is patently false.


The CAND and its members support public health policy. The importance of childhood immunization is taught within the curriculum of accredited naturopathic medical programs and students must meet clinical competencies for immunization education in order to graduate.


Where immunization is within the regulated scope of practice for NDs, as in British Columbia, NDs certified to provide immunizations must follow the same BC Centre for Disease Control course and guidelines as other immunizers in the province.


In conclusion, NDs provide patients with the best advice possible based on their education and training.  They are strong advocates for an integrative approach to health that works in conjunction with conventional medicine – not displaces it.


We are all reaching for the same goals: improved health and wellness and better access to care for all Canadians. At CAND, we believe NDs and MDs have an opportunity to work with one another in this endeavor and hope that future articles about our profession will contribute honestly and meaningfully to this discourse.


Dr. Mark Fontes, ND, is Chair of the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND), practices at Insight Naturopathic Clinic in Toronto and is part time faculty at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. Shawn O’Reilly is Executive Director and Director of Government Relations for CAND