RNAO urges Canadians to inform themselves on major health, social and environmental issues ahead of Oct. 21 vote

Oct. 16, 2019

As the federal election campaign enters its final days, registered nurses (RN), nurse practitioners (NP) and nursing students in Ontario are calling on Canadians to cast an informed vote.

Polls show the major parties are in a tight race, jockeying for position as the countdown to Oct. 21 approaches. To help voters make a choice that reflects the federal government’s key role in shaping health and health-care policy, the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is inviting voters to look at its platform of recommendations on access to care, social determinants of health, the environment and fiscal capacity. 

A platform for a healthy Canada offers evidence-based policies important to nurses and to Canadians – including a universal pharmacare plan, action on the opioid crisis, addressing long-standing inequality and discrimination faced by Indigenous People, substantive measures to tackle climate change, and reinstating the role of a national chief nursing officer. Three parties committed to this latter ask. 

“I don’t think we’ve seen an election this close in recent memory and that means every single vote will be crucial in determining the future direction of Canada,” says RNAO president Dr. Angela Cooper Brathwaite. “And that’s why it is essential voters consider each party’s election promises and weigh them against the issues they believe will advance the health of Canadians.”

To help voters, RNAO sent each of the major parties a questionnaire, inviting them to respond to the association’s recommendations. The only party that did not respond was the Conservative Party of Canada.

“Health care may be administered by the provinces, but keeping Canadians healthy is something that requires strong federal leadership. We need a federal government that advances social and environmental determinants and that is committed to paying its fair share of health expenditures,” says RNAO’s CEO Dr. Doris Grinspun. “The goal of nurses is to keep people healthy and care for them when they are ill. For this, people need an adequate roof over their heads, clean air to breathe, and affordable medications. Candidates that understand this deserve our vote,” she adds.
Canadians can find out where and how to vote by visiting the Elections Canada website.

RNAO is the professional association representing registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and nursing students in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve. For more information about RNAO, visit RNAO.ca or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Contact info

Marion Zych
Director of Communications
Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO)