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Let's make health matter in the 2018 municipal election

Our municipal governments make many important decisions and create policies that affect our health. During the 2018 municipal election campaign, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is highlighting several key public health issues that require attention and action by government:

These issues, along with suggested actions local councils can take, are outlined in a fact sheet that has been distributed to candidates in municipalities in Simcoe and Muskoka.

The 2018 municipal election campaign is a good opportunity to ask your local candidates about these issues. You can raise questions at all-candidates’ meetings or discuss your concerns when candidates knock on your door. Find out how they will show their commitment to improving health in Simcoe Muskoka.

Between now and the municipal elections on October 22, 2018, take some time to learn about candidate positions on these issues. Below are some sample questions you can ask your local candidates:

  • Shelter is a basic need for optimal health. What would you do to increase the availability of safe, adequate and affordable housing in our communities?
  • A person’s income level has a strong influence on their health. What would you do in your community to encourage economic development that will create full-time jobs with adequate wages, and what other strategies would you use to help people move out of poverty?
  • About 1 in 8 Simcoe Muskoka households experience some level of food insecurity. As an elected official how would you ensure that people with low income have enough money to afford the food they need to be healthy?
  • Communities support health when they provide infrastructure for safe cycling, walking and public transit, have a range of housing, provide access to healthy food, and preserve agricultural and natural spaces. What would you do to help your community be designed and built for better health and quality of life?
  • Our climate is changing. More frequent extreme weather events and new threats to health are emerging. What measures would you take to reduce the threats to health due to climate change and better prepare for what may come in the future?
  • Evidence shows that as alcohol becomes easier to buy, illness and injury increase. The marketplace will also soon include recreational cannabis products. What municipal policies would you support to encourage safe use of alcohol and cannabis to protect health?
  • The rate of opioid deaths in Simcoe Muskoka rose 70% between 2016 and 2017. Would you support the use of supervised consumption sites to help reduce overdoses?
  • The legalization of cannabis for recreational use means new retail outlets for cannabis products, possibly near schools, parks or other facilities serving youths. Would you consider limiting the number of retail outlets, and where they are located?

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