CARP and the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) partnered together on a Seniors Care Challenge leading up to the June 30, 2014 by-elections. The challenge asked all candidates in the four by-elections, the Ontario ridings of Trinity-Spadina and Scarborough-Agincourt and the Alberta ridings of MacLeod and Fort McMurray-Athabasca, to endorse or reject 12 specific elements of a pan-Canadian seniors’ strategy. The 12 specific elements included:
- Federal role in setting standards and funding
- Pharmacare to ensure affordable medication regardless of postal code
- Wait time benchmarks for home care and long term care
- Timely access to palliative care
- National Seniors’ Care Strategy with funding
- Caregiver support – financial, training and respite
- National Dementia Care Strategy
- Immediate national conversation on end of life care, choices, rights
- Tax breaks for long term care savings vehicle
- Integrated continuum of care
- Improved pension system
- Federal infrastructure funding for continuing care
CMA-CARP Challenge spotted in the media
Both CMA and CARP issued news releases about the Seniors Care Challenge, which was covered in The Hill Times, a newspaper read mainly by members of Parliament, politicians, government officials, and other politically engaged individuals. Both CMA and CARP (@CARPadvocacy) tweeted about the challenge, which was retweeted by many others. Additionally, CMA released posters and ads that went into local papers, such as the Scarborough Mirror, City Centre Mirror, High River Times Okotoks Western Wheel, and Fort McMurray Connect.
The Candidate Responses
The majority of the candidates responded to the CMA-CARP Seniors Care Challenge, but only two of the three major parties committed to a National Seniors Care Strategy. View each of the candidate’s response to 12 essential elements.
CARP members consistently poll health care as their top priority. CARP members are among Canada’s most politically engaged voters. In the 2011 federal election, 64% of those casting ballots were over the age of 55. Not only do CARP members vote, but also they are willing to change their vote based on party positions on policy issues they care about. With the upcoming 2015 federal election, CARP members will be watching closely to see how parties prioritize seniors care.
Read CARP’s News Release on CMA-CARP’s challenge to all the by-election candidates.
Read CARP’s News Release on the candidate responses to CMA-CARP’s challenge.
View the candidate responses to the 12 specific elements of the pan-Canadian seniors strategy.
Read The Hill Times article covering the challenge.
View samples of CMA’s posters and ads promoting the joint challenge: