Media Release

CCS reacts to Liberal Party platform for 2021 federal election


The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is pleased with the Liberal Party platform’s key investments to improve the lives of people facing cancer now and when the pandemic is behind us. CCS also applauds commitments in the platform to implement strengthened policies to support healthy living, a tobacco manufacturer cost recovery fee, and a tax on e-cigarettes.  

“More than 1 million Canadians are living with and beyond cancer, and those with cancer continue to be among the most vulnerable in our communities right now. While the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt for months and years to come, so too will the needs of people with cancer and their caregivers change,” says Kelly Masotti, Vice President of Advocacy at CCS. “CCS supports the Liberal Party’s commitments to address these challenges by funding provinces to tackle health care wait times and hire thousands more doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners.” 

The Liberal platform commits to immediately investing $6 billion to address wait times for certain procedures and providing $3.2 billion to provinces and territories for the hiring of 7,500 new family doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners throughout Canada. This significant investment would help repair the damage done to our cancer care system as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  A CCS-led survey in July 2020 of people with cancer and caregivers found that almost half (47%) of patients reported having their cancer care appointments cancelled or postponed. Since the start of the pandemic, it is estimated that global cancer diagnoses dropped by a stunning 40%. We know that when cancer is found and treated early, the chances of survival are higher. A Canadian and United Kingdom-led study published in the British Medical Journal showed that a 4-week delay in cancer treatment increased the risk of death by about 10% in some cancers. 

Cancer prevention
CCS welcomes the Liberal Party's commitment to restrict the commercial marketing of food and beverages to children, as well as introduce front-of-package labelling as a way to help promote healthy food choices.

“The next federal government has a role to play in ensuring that Canadians are set up for success in making healthy and informed choices that make it easier to adopt a healthy diet,” says Masotti. “We are pleased to see a commitment to policies that will have an important population health impact.”

Tobacco control
In its platform, the Liberal Party has committed to requiring tobacco manufacturers to pay for the cost of federal public health investments in tobacco control. The tobacco manufacturer cost recovery fee would require the tobacco industry to reimburse Health Canada for the $66 million annual cost of the federal government’s tobacco control strategy. As a billion-dollar industry, tobacco manufacturers can easily afford this fee. 

“We applaud the commitment to an annual cost recovery fee on tobacco companies,” says Masotti. “The tobacco industry has caused generations to become addicted to nicotine and should be held accountable by paying for the cost of the federal government’s strategy to reduce tobacco use. The cost recovery fee would make the industry that caused the problem pay to fix it, rather than all Canadians, and it deserves support.” 

Additionally, the Liberal platform commits to move forward with the national tax on e-cigarette products, initially announced in Budget 2021, which is a welcome measure.

"A federal tax on e-cigarettes is an essential and important measure to reduce youth vaping, which has increased dramatically,” adds Masotti. “A tax on e-cigarette products will help prevent a new generation of youth becoming addicted to nicotine.” 


CCS is also pleased to see the commitment to working with provinces and territories to develop a national action plan legislating sick leave across the country. This commitment builds on their recent extension of the Employment Insurance sickness benefits from 15 to 26 weeks, which will come into effect in summer 2022.

In August, CCS released a set of recommendations for all political parties to adopt that will directly support people living with cancer and also prevent more people from ever being diagnosed. Read the full 2021 federal election recommendations report here. CCS welcomes Liberal platform commitments that align with these priorities.


About the Canadian Cancer Society
The Canadian Cancer Society works tirelessly to save and improve lives. We fund the brightest minds in cancer research. We provide a compassionate support system for all those affected by cancer, from coast to coast and for all types of cancer. As the voice for Canadians who care about cancer, we work with governments to establish health policies to prevent cancer and better support those living with the disease. No other organization does all that we do to improve lives today and to change the future of cancer forever.

Help us make a difference. Call 1-888-939-3333 or visit today.

For more information, please contact:
Nuala Mckee
Canadian Cancer Society