Provincial election: health matters

In Ontario, only about half of eligible voters turnout to vote. When you vote, you register your opinion on how you think the government should operate. It’s your right.

Provincial election

The provincial general election is June 7, 2018. The Elections Ontario website contains information on how to vote, where to vote, and other frequently asked questions.

Do you have friends or neighbours who may need help voting? Helping those around you to register and vote encourages community participation on issues that matter.

Many Canadians are struggling to make ends meet. What can we do about it?

Priority issues

Health Matters (HTML below, PDF, 327 KB)

Voters consistently rate health care as a top concern at election time. Although access to health care and pressures on the system are often profiled, preventative measures are proven less costly and help keep us out of hospitals in the first place. Addressing income, social status and supports, education, and literacy are important factors that impact our health. No one should be at risk of poor health because of their social and economic situations.

Below is a collection of priorities for the provincial election, adapted from the Association of Local Public Health Agencies.i The last one, income security, is adapted from the Ontario Dietitians in Public Health’s “No Money for Food is… Cent$less” campaign. The following priorities would bring about sweeping changes in health outcomes, preventing illness and mortality for millions of people.

Income security

Issue

Key recommendation

Support solutions such as a basic income guarantee, a living wage and social assistance rates that are geared to the real cost of living so that everyone has the money they need for basic needs, including food.ii

Possible questions to explore with a candidate

Having enough income to purchase regular, healthy food is crucial for the health and success of people right now and future generations. Can we count on you to support a liveable minimum wage, adequate social assistance rates, and basic income for everyone?

Dental care for lower-income adults

Issue

Key recommendation

Dental care should be provided for everyone who cannot afford it.

Possible questions to explore with a candidate

People without dental coverage are showing up at the emergency department. Do you think that dental benefits should be extended to adults living in low-income?

Prescription coverage for all ontarians: Universal pharmacare

Issue

Key recommendation

Support a universal pharmacare system to promote health and reduce acute health care costs.

Possible questions to explore with a candidate

If your doctor’s visit is covered, shouldn’t prescriptions also be covered? How is the universal healthcare system expected to work if many people don’t have coverage for prescriptions?

Opioids

Issue

Key recommendation

Ontario must be proactive and develop a comprehensive, multifaceted and multi-stakeholder plan for opioids including education, harm reduction, treatment, and enforcement.

Possible questions to explore with a candidate

Opioid drugs are dangerous and drug misuse effects everyone. Doesn’t Ontario need a coordinated plan to address the problem?

Cannabis

Issue

Key recommendation

To help protect young brains and wellbeing, the legal age to buy cannabis should be increased to 21 or include a mitigation strategy if it remains at 19 years of age.

Possible questions to explore with a candidate

Cannabis is harmful to young developing brains. Shouldn’t the legal age to buy it be 21?

Smoking

Issue

Key recommendation

That the provincial government support the implementation of the modernized Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy, announced May 2018, to achieve the lowest smoking rates in Canada and support the end game goal by 2035.

Possible questions to explore with a candidate

Over two billion dollars a year is spent in Ontario to treat and care for individuals with smoking-related health issues. Do you support the modernized Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy just recently released by the Ontario government?

Dignity for all: The campaign for a poverty-free Canada

We know that not everyone has the same opportunity for good health. Our opportunities are influenced by more than individual biology or genetics. Our health is also influenced by our education, income, social supports, employment, food availability, housing, early childhood experiences and so on. These are social determinants health and evidence tells us that when these factors improve, health improves. Understanding these relationships is a critical first step in creating change. A series of infographics was developed by Dignity for all: The campaign for a poverty-free Canada. The infographics highlight how many Canadians are struggling to make ends meet and what we can do about it.

References

i https://c.ymcdn.com/sites/alphaweb.site-ym.com/resource/collection/822EC60D-0D03-413E-B590-AFE1AA8620A9/alPHa_Key_Messages_2018_Provincial_Election.pdf
ii https://www.odph.ca/centsless
iii http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/dental-emergency-report-1.3308355
iv https://www.camh.ca/-/media/files/lrcug_professional-pdf.pdf


This item was last modified on May 29, 2018