Welcome to the Your Candidates, Your Health 2019 Federal Election Campaign Website and Initiative! We are delighted to provide our Members, Supporters and Partners with the health research and health innovation advocacy resources and campaign intelligence you will require to engage in this federal election season and deliver important information and messages about health research and health innovation to Federal Election 2019 Candidates in your organizations’ ridings.
Your Candidates, Your Health is both a virtual and print initiative. Our Election Primer which spells out Research Canada’s policy positions and advocacy messages and our Advocacy Toolkit with leave-behind one-pagers are provided to our Members in print format so that you are “meeting ready” when you decide to meet with local Candidates. All you need to do is to add some of your organization’s information and you are ready to advocate to local Candiates! The website includes all of our information which can also be downloaded or you can order additional print kits if you need them.
We also encourage you to organize town halls and we provide you with a step-by-step guide as to how to do so. What is most important, though, is that you get out and meet your Candidates so that you jump start your relationship with possible new MPs and reinforce the bonds you have forged with incumbents. Remember, how you enter something is how it will unfold!
What to Expect from Campaign 2019
Ms. Michelle McLean, Senior Vice President of Health and Wellness at Hill & Knowlton Canada presented her thoughts on what to expect from Campaign 2019 at Research Canada’s recent Annual General Meeting in June in Ottawa. She told us that Election 2019 results are uncertain because the political landscape has shifted significantly over the past year. A lot of polls are predicting a minority government; however, which colours will be in the mix is still uncertain. There is no question that the rise of third parties like the Greens could signficantly affect the election outcome.
Michelle also identified priorities for each party’s platform and where health and health research would stand during Election 2019.
Priorities for each party’s platform will vary with the Liberals focused on reducing the burden on the middle class, pharmacare, job creation, climate change, infrastructure, seniors, gender equality, rural connectivity and affordable housing.
The Conservatives will dedicate their campaign to a platform that aims to reduce taxes, balance the budget, ethics, immigration and secure borders among some other priorities regarding the carbon tax and energy project approvals.
The NDP will continue to focus on social inequality, electoral reform, pharmacare, corporate tax increases, climate change and affordable housing.
In terms of health and healthcare, pharmacare has already been positioned to be the issue that will override others in this arena and all parties will continue to focus on access to healthcare with the Liberals and NDP also laying out their commitments to mental health.
Health research will not be a ballot box issue; however, we can, as a community tie it to health and healthcare issues, making the case for better health outcomes and evidence-based decision making. It will be important to meet with Candidates from all parties this election campaign because in a minority parliament, parties like the Greens and/or NDP could collectively or individually hold the balance of power!
Stay tuned to a series of blogs we will be publishing throughout the 2019 Federal Election Campaign on the Your Candidates, Your Health website from thought leaders and senior lobbyists like Ms. Michelle McLean in Ottawa!
Ms. Deborah Gordon-El-Bihbety is President and CEO at Research Canada: An Alliance for Health Discovery.