Public record of meeting, 8 February 2021


Meeting of 8 February, 2021–9 February, 2021

PDF Version

Virtual Meeting



Task Force Members

  • Brett Thombs (Chair)
  • Ainsley Moore (Vice-Chair)
  • Scott Klarenbach 
  • Guylène Thériault 
  • Eddy Lang 
  • John Riva 
  • John Leblanc 
  • Navindra Persaud 
  • Heather Colquhoun 
  • Ahmed Abou-Setta 
  • Roland Grad 
  • Christina Korownyk 
  • Donna Reynolds 
  • Henry Siu


Task Force Administrators

  • Daniela Cortinovis
  • Julia Nordlund



  • Elizabeth Rolland-Harris 
  • Heather Limburg 
  • Elspeth Payne 
  • Allana LeBlanc 
  • Melissa Subnath 
  • Laure Tessier 
  • Gregory Traversy 
  • Marc Avey 
  • Kate Morissette 
  • Kristen Simkus 
  • Yina Shan 
  • Julie Wu 
  • Megan Pople 
  • Caroline D’Souza 
  • Tiffany Kim 
  • Catherine Pound


  • Daniela Cortinovis
  • Julia Nordlund


  •  Julian Little 
  • David Moher 
  • Jennifer Pillay 
  • Lisa Hartling 
  • Andrew Beck 
  • Melissa Brouwers 
  • Michelle Gates 
  • Allison Gates 
  • Nicole Shaver 
  • Dria Bennett 



  • Amanda Tzenov 
  • Pascale Breault 
  • Anthony Train 
  • Richard Henry 


Task Force Alumni

  • Stéphane Groulx


Knowledge Translation

  • Sharon Straus 
  • Robyn Beckett 
  • Dave Flaherty 
  • Kyle Silveira 
  • Arthana Chandraraj 
  • Clara Narcisse-Merveille 
  • Christine Fahim 



  • Kim Barnhardt
  • Chelsee Cure


Task Force Fellows 

  • Anthony Train 
  • Keith Todd 
  • Pascale Breault 
  • Richard Henry 



Brenda Wilson (TF Member), Chantal Plante (PHAC), Amanda Tzenov (Fellow) 



Day 1

1. Welcome and Introductions

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Task Force held its February 2021 meeting online via videoconference. Dr. Thombs opened the meeting and Task Force members approved the agenda. Dr. Thombs provided some brief guidelines on the proceedings of this virtual meeting.

Dr. Thombs welcomed new staff of the Task Force including Julie Wu (joining the PHAC team) and Fariha Mosaddeque (joining the KT Team). Dr. Thombs also announced that two new PHAC staff members will be joining in the upcoming weeks/months, Casey Gray will start on Feb. 22 and Chantelle Garritty on April 1. Several PHAC practicum students have joined: Megan People, Caroline D’Souza, Tiffany Kim and Dr. Catherine Pound. Dr. Thombs also announced upcoming departures from the Task Force, including Dr. John LeBlanc (Task Force member – last day is Feb 15th), Dr. Heather Colquhoun (Task Force member – last day is June 1st), Allana Leblanc (PHAC – last day is February 16th), and Julia Nordlund (TFO – stepping away towards the end of February/early March once a new administrator is hired).  

Dr. Thombs provided some brief updates on recent Task Force activities and milestones. The Falls Prevention protocol was published (January 2021), the Cervical Cancer protocol was pre-accepted for publication (November 2020), the systematic review for the Child and Adolescent Depression guideline was published (January 2021) and the Chlamydia & Gonorrhea guideline has been submitted to CMAJ and is expected to be published in April 2021. There was also an article recently published by the College of Family Physicians (CFP) about current Task Force guidelines for cancer screening (January 2021). 

Dr. Colquhoun thanked everyone and expressed her appreciation for her time with the Task Force. Dr. Thombs explained that Task Force members who leave the Task Force do stay involved in the Working Groups they are already a part of.  


2. Tobacco Cessation Guideline

Mr. Traversy and Dr. Beck presented updates on the Tobacco guideline, including a refresher on the scope of the guideline and the GRADE tables. The next steps include discussing the development of the evidence to decision framework and developing the guideline recommendation.


3. GIN Membership

Dr. Moore provided an update on the Task Force’s membership with the Guideline International Network (GIN) (ref:


4. Lung Cancer

Dr. Klarenbach presented an overview of the scoping work completed by the Lung Cancer Working Group, as well as the decisions made to-date regarding the scope of the Key Questions (KQs).


5. Equity

Dr. Persaud, Ms. Bennett and Ms. Shaver presented on the Equity Working Group’s ongoing activities and provided an overview of the preliminary findings of the literature review.


6. Communication Update

Ms. Barnhardt and Ms. Curé presented an update on the recent work of the Communications team and their ongoing initiatives.


7. KT Update

Ms. Beckett, Mr. Silveira and Ms. Merveille from the Knowledge Translation (KT) team provided updates on recent KT activities and initiatives. This update included information on recently published and upcoming guidelines, new and upcoming KT tools, dissemination activities, Task Force projects involving KT and the Task Force Public Advisors Network (TF-PAN) initiative.


8. Verbal Update on Guidelines

The guideline Working Group Chairs provided brief updates for each guideline.


9. CVD Update

Dr. Persaud presented an update on the Working Group’s work to-date, including current thinking of developing a framework as opposed to a guideline, as well as next steps.




Day Two
10. Methods Working Group

Ms. Subnath presented on the recent Methods Working Group activities.


11. Verbal Updates on Guidelines (continued)

The guideline Working Group Chairs provided brief updates for each guideline.


12. Next Steps and Adjournment

Dr. Thombs thanked everyone for attending. Dr. Thombs also thanked the departing Task Force members, Dr. Colquhoun and Dr. LeBlanc, for their participation in the Task Force, for their leadership, hard work and collegiality. He announced that the next Task Force meeting will take place online again, on June 7-8, 2021. Dr. Lang provided a brief update on the Preventing Overdiagnosis Conference: the face-to-face event is postponed to June 2022, and there will be a virtual event planned for September 2021 (nothing is finalized). The February 2020 Task Force virtual meeting was adjourned.