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2014 Provincial Election: Let's make public health a priority

 

Even if you don’t actively follow politics, you can still show your support for improved health in Simcoe Muskoka by asking questions and raising issues.

There are many public health issues that require the attention of our elected officials. During the 2014 provincial election campaign, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is highlighting several key health issues that require government action.

These topics, along with suggested actions the government can take, are outlined in a fact sheet "Let's Make Health A Priority" that has been distributed to local provincial candidates in ridings in Simcoe and Muskoka.

The 2014 provincial 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.

 

You can also write a letter to party leaders and candidates to ask them how they will show their commitment to improving health in Simcoe Muskoka.

Between now and the provincial election on June 12, 2014, take some time to learn about candidate positions on these issues so you can make an informed voting decision. 

Below are some sample questions you can ask your local candidates.

  • What would you do to increase the availability of safe, adequate and affordable housing in our communities?
  • The main determinant of health is a person's income level. How would you help to move people out of poverty and what would you do to ensure a fair wage for everyone?
  • There is growing support for more active transportation opportunities in our communities, including cycling and walking. What actions would you take to make walking and biking easier and safer in our communities  for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities?
  • To improve the quality of our air and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, what supports would you put in place and how would you encourage people to drive less, walk or cycle more, and conserve energy? 
  • As an elected official what would you do to ensure that everyone has access to healthy, affordable, safe and personally acceptable food in and around where they live?
  • How would you ensure the protection and conservation of land, water and other resources needed to produce local foods as part of a sustainable food system?
  • What initiatives and actions would you support to improve the overall oral health of residents in Simcoe and Muskoka?
  • Many chronic diseases and injuries are associated with alcohol use. What policies would you support to reduce alcohol-related harm?

The provincial government makes many important decisions that affect our health. These include, for example: creating policies that give us access to nutritious foods and opportunities to be physically active; providing funding for immunization programs; setting regulations that keep our water and food safe; regulating access to substances that can cause injury, disease and death; and supporting services for children, youth and families.

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