Two grandparents sit on a park bench hugging their granddaughter

Our cancer care asks for Alberta’s political parties this election

This election, we are calling on all parties to improve access to palliative care services, improve job-protection for people who must take time off work for treatment and improve commercial tobacco and youth vaping reduction programming.
The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is the voice of Canadians who care about cancer. We are advocates for government policies that help prevent cancer and support those who are living with the disease.  
 
During this Alberta election, healthcare is a top issue for voters and the CCS is committed to working with elected politicians of all stripes to bring about healthy public policies that will help prevent cancer, as well as improve the lives of people living with cancer and their caregivers. They are our parents and siblings, friends, and neighbours, and some of the most vulnerable in our community.
 
This Alberta election, we are calling on all parties to make cancer care a priority for all those living with cancer, their caregivers and all healthcare providers.


Here are our top 3 priorities we’re advocating for leading up to the Alberta election on May 29, 2023:

Expand access to palliative care services for all Albertans no matter where they live or the setting they choose to receive care. We are asking for improved funding for community-based hospice palliative care and rural in-home palliative care services.  
What this means for you:  Facing a life-limiting illness can cause hardship for people and their families. Palliative care helps alleviate the burden and improves the quality of life for people living with a life-limiting illness. However, palliative care is not available for all Albertans where and when they need it. When governments invest in community-based hospice palliative care and rural in-home palliative care services, they are helping to ensure all Albertans have access to palliative care regardless of where they live and what setting they choose to receive care.
Expand job-protected long-term illness leave to support equitable access to cancer care without undue financial burden. We are asking the Alberta government to extend the length of job-protected long-term illness leave to at least 26 weeks to align with the federal Employment Insurance sickness benefit and allow flexibility in employee eligibility.  
What this means for you: When Albertans face a life-threating disease like cancer, their struggle is not just medical but also financial, as people diagnosed with cancer may need to take time off work to receive treatment. Albertans with cancer and their loved ones often worry about their employment security and how they are going to pay their bills while they undergo treatment. People facing a life-threatening illness such as cancer require job-protected leave to receive and recover from treatment without undue financial burden. 
Develop measures to prevent and reduce commercial tobacco use and youth vaping that reach all Albertans. We are asking for policies that protect all Alberta kids from vaping products, help prevent commercial tobacco use and implement an annual cost recovery fee on the tobacco industry.  

What this means for you: Commercial tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of cancer incidence and mortality in Alberta. Youth vaping continues to impact Alberta kids with 20% of Alberta youth using vaping products. Youth who use vaping products are two times more likely to start smoking. Effective policies will help lower the number of young people who smoke and vape in Alberta.  
 
Commercial tobacco and youth vaping prevention programs are currently paid for by the taxpayer not the tobacco industry. A cost recovery fee will require tobacco companies, not you, to pay for programs that help address the epidemic caused by the tobacco industry.