This election, the Heart and Stroke Foundation is engaging voters and candidates across the province in the goal of creating a healthier province. What is unique about the Healthy Candidates campaign is that we are creating a positive, win-win opportunity for candidates and voters alike. Our campaign website (www.HealthyCandidates.ca) allows voters to challenge their candidate to ‘go healthy’ and to congratulate the candidates that have taken that important step.
With nearly 300 candidates signed on, almost 75% of all registered candidates from the four main parties have now pledged to take action on health promotion and prevention through the Healthy Candidates campaign. A powerful demonstration of political will made even more remarkable by the cross-partisan nature of the support – every party now has more than 30% of candidates signed on with that number growing every day.
The unprecedented success of this campaign demonstrates that health promotion is an issue that transcends party politics. When campaigns mostly highlight what separates each party – this is an issue for which there is a rare consensus. Each party recognizes that we must do more and that this is a vital priority for Ontario voters.
Here are the policy recommendations being adopted by Healthy Candidates across the province:
1. Childhood Obesity
- Making schools centres for health, including bringing food education into the classroom and supporting physical activity requirements in schools.
- Community planning that makes public spaces accessible and builds
- Active Play and After School: Promotion of informal play space for
children and youth outside of schools
- Supporting community food centres to address healthy food supply
system from farm to table in an equitable manner
- Calorie counts on menus
2. Tobacco Control
- Reducing retail outlet density
- Contraband Public Education
- Comprehensive smoking cessation system
- Protecting people from involuntary smoke exposure
- Adequate funding to support tobacco control
We know you share these goals. Please help us get the word out by blogging, tweeting and Facebooking about this innovative campaign. Together we can put Ontario on the road to being the healthiest province. Visit www.HealthyCandidates.ca to get involved!