On October 19 Canadians across the country will head to the polls to cast their votes and then await the news of who will form their next federal government. And since last March, Parkinson Society Canada’s more than 150 Ambassadors have been preparing for and visiting MPs and candidates to discuss the issues and promote the policies that will make a difference to the lives of Canadians living with Parkinson’s.
“Election campaigns and the first 100 days that a new government is in place, are critical times for informing and influencing elected officials,” says Vanessa Foran, Vice President of Public Affairs and National Programs for Parkinson Society Canada. “It’s when they are the most opento the opinions and priorities of voters in their ridings.”
Our Parkinson’s Ambassadors are promoting the following national priorities:
- Comprehensive genetic fairness legislation and policies that protect Canadians against genetic discrimination from both employers and insurance companies.
- A national seniors’ strategy, like the one being proposed by the Canadian Medical Association and its alliance partners, including PSC. The strategy should address the social, economic and health care needs of our older citizens in a consistent and coordinated fashion, across the country.
- The need to build on the findings of the National Population Health Study of Neurological Conditions, published last year, and increase investment in neuroscience research.
We are incredibly proud of all that our Ambassadors have achieved to date, and there are still many communities that need our representation. We could use your help to explain to candidates and MPs the needs of the Parkinson’s Community during this election campaign and in the critical first few months of the new government. We will provide you with the training and support you need to ensure that you are fully prepared to have an impact, in a way that’s meaningful to you.
“Regardless of the outcome of the election, one third of MPs will be new to the job and new MPs are often the most open to making a difference for their constituents,” says Foran.
You can help move Parkinson’s issues forward during the 2015 election campaign and beyond by becoming a Parkinson’s Ambassador in your riding. Whether you are a person living with Parkinson’s, a caregiver to someone living with the disease, or simply want to help with the cause, you can be a champion in your community by being the voice for Canadians with Parkinson’s.