On September 20, Canadian voters will be heading to the polls to elect our next federal government. We know that government plays a critical role in advancing cancer priorities and ensuring accessible healthcare for all Canadians. As the voice for Canadians who care about cancer, we’re making sure that role is not forgotten as political parties head into an election, and you can help.
Our healthcare system continues to be affected by a pandemic, and will be affected for years to come. Now more than ever, our government needs to prioritize cancer care and support healthy public policies that can help prevent cancer and improve the lives of people living with cancer and their caregivers.
We take action on various issues at the local, provincial and federal level, but this 2021 federal election we are calling on all political parties to support several specific cancer control priorities:
- Restore cancer care from pandemic disruptions to address all backlogs in cancer care from COVID-19 as well as innovating to address the influx of new or late-stage cancer diagnosis forthcoming.
What this means for you: Your federal government will work with each province on a fully funded plan that supports the cancer community and improves access to cancer care. No matter where you live in Canada, your healthcare team will be given the resources needed to resume cancer screenings, surgeries, and interventions essential to your cancer care.
- Commit to cancer prevention now and when the pandemic is behind us by increasing healthy living investments that make it easier to live smoke-free, keep a healthy weight, adopt a healthy diet, be physically active, be sun safe and reduce alcohol consumption.
What this means for you: Your federal government will implement policies and programs that promote healthy living and protect the health of Canadians. Setting you up for success, these initiatives can help you to make healthy and informed decisions that reduce your cancer risk.
- Guarantee the right to affordable, high-quality palliative care for all, including advanced care planning, specialized pain and symptom management, and grief and bereavement support, in the setting of their choice.
What this means for you: If you are diagnosed with cancer or facing a life-threatening illness, you will be ensured timely and reliable access to publicly-funded treatments and support services. This includes the option to receive palliative care in the comfort of your home and increasing hospice beds where required.
- Implement a cost recovery fee on the tobacco industry to provide full reimbursement for the $66 million annual cost of the federal tobacco control strategy.
What this means for you: Your federal government would get back the money they spend every year on programs that help reduce tobacco use in Canada. And instead of that money coming from taxpayers, it would come from the tobacco industry – the very industry that is profiting from the sale of tobacco, which kills almost 48,000 Canadians every year.
- Act on the commitment to extend the Employment Insurance sickness benefit from 15 weeks to at least 26 weeks.
What this means for you: If you are diagnosed with cancer, you may be eligible for more time off while undergoing treatment so that you can focus on the things that matter without worrying about your work.
What can you do to help?
Show your support for these important cancer issues by signing our voter pledge and sending a letter to party leaders. To learn more, visit cancer.ca/FederalElection