This fall, Canadians will be heading to the polls for our next federal election. Elections are the perfect time to let candidates know about the issues and concerns that matter to Canadians. With chronic pain impacting more than 20% of people living in Canada, it’s time to remind candidates that people with pain vote!
A call for national action
This is a critical time to mobilize and raise our voices about chronic pain because elections are the best time to ask for candidates’ support. Recent polling from Angus Reid shows that pain is an issue that matters to Canadians. Some of the poll’s many findings include:
- 92% of Canadians agree that people with pain should have access to pain treatment and care, regardless of income
- More than 75% of people with severe pain believe they would be in less pain if they could afford available treatments
- 95% of Canadians believe people with pain “shouldn’t have to wait months and months for treatment”
- 88% of Canadians say they would be in favour of increasing the number of treatments that are covered as a part of public health care.
This summer, the Canadian Pain Task Force made a strong call for national action on pain in their first report to Health Canada. As an organization, we're reaching out to candidates to support national action on chronic pain and to ask them to ensure that proper pain care is available to everyone across Canada. We’re urging you to support this call by advocating with candidates in your riding.
Adding your voice to the conversation
There are many ways you can reach out to your local candidates and make sure your voice is heard in this election, whether it’s via email, on social media, or in person. To make it easier for you, we have put together several ideas and resources – including a letter template you can use, suggested social media posts, and contact information.
Getting in touch with your electoral candidates
Send a letter or email
Not sure what to say? You can customize the template we’ve created to contact your candidate via email or letter. You can copy and paste the letter, but we encourage you to personalize it by adding why the issue of chronic pain is important to you!
Use the power of social media
The majority of candidates are using social media, so if you are too, then consider sending a tweet or posting a public Facebook message. Consider using the hashtags #CanadaElection2019 and #TakingActionOnPain in your posts. We’ve created some sample posts for Facebook and Twitter to get you started.
Talk to candidates in person
A common part of any election campaign is ‘door knocking’ – volunteers and even candidates themselves may visit your neighbourhood to talk to residents. If you feel comfortable speaking face to face, this is your chance. Ask if they’re aware of chronic pain and its impacts, ask if they’ll support national action on pain, and share your story!
Call candidate offices
You can call candidates’ offices (not only those in your riding) to ask questions or to raise your concerns and ask for support for those living with pain. Be sure to tell them you’d like a response to your questions, and ensure they have your contact details.
Attend candidate meetings, debates, open houses, and more!
Keep an eye on the media, Elections Canada, and candidate websites to find out about any in-person opportunities to meet and talk to your candidates. There are often public meetings, debates, open houses, and more, with open question and answer periods.
Spread the word
The more we can bring chronic pain to the forefront in the campaign period, the more likely it is that government will take action on pain. Encourage friends, family, colleagues, and your community to reach out before the election.
Contact details for your MLA, parties, and other information
Find your electoral district on the Elections Canada website so you can view the list of candidates running for election. Elections Canada doesn’t list each candidate’s contact information, but you can find contact information for current MPs here, and you can find contact information for candidates not currently in government by searching their party’s website or by searching for their campaign website.
Don’t forget to vote
Make sure to vote for the candidate you believe will best address the issues you care about. Make sure you’re registered to vote here. If pain makes leaving home to vote too difficult, find out how to register to vote by mail here.