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As the first day of my visit to Canada starts, the view from my window shows the sun lighting up the Toronto skyline. I last visited Toronto around Christmas 2019 which seems a lifetime ago - mostly because of the COVID pandemic which hit shortly afterwards. Many of the sights and landmarks in Toronto seem familiar - but also different (they were also covered in snow last time I saw them) and I am looking forward to exploring them again over the next week.
I also have my first meetings with researchers based in and around Toronto and am very much looking forward to discussing issues around ethics, consent, inclusion of under-served groups, and how best to ensure that research actually benefits the populations who are most in need of evidence-based care. I am looking forward to understanding more about research governance in Canada and whether issues that arise around capacity and consent in the UK are experienced (or not) in the provinces and territories here. This all offers an opportunity to explore whether advance research planning may help bridge the gap between arrangements for people to make their wishes known about their future care and treatment, and people being able to express their wishes about future research participation.
I am also looking forward to a visit to Kingston in the coming days, and seeing the place where "history and innovation thrive". It will also be an opportunity to see a snowier skyline!