Ask questions. Take action.
It is startling to know that there are real differences in health across our communities. It can motivate you to ask questions such as, “Are these differences acceptable?”, “Why do they exist?” and “What can I do to make a difference?”
The more we talk about these differences, the more we can figure out our role in creating change.
- Write a letter or email to share your views and ask questions of business, agency and community leaders, elected representatives and government officials.
- Ask your election candidates about their position on issues that matter to you, your family and your community.
In addition to your own questions, we have provided sample questions that you may consider asking decision makers in your community. You can also find some ideas on how you can take action to create change.
- More Canadians/Ontarians are finding it difficult to meet their basic needs which greatly impacts their health. How can we and our government support and ensure a fair working wage for everyone?
- Individuals and groups across Canada are promoting Basic Income Guarantee (BIG). The idea behind BIG is to ensure that everyone has an income sufficient to meet their basic needs. We invite you to support BIG by joining the Basic Income Canada Network. Networks across Canada are encouraging municipal, provincial and federal governments to endorse BIG which in turn would create opportunity for all. View more information on Basic Income Guarantee provided by the Association of Local Public Health Agencies-Ontario Public Health Association (alPHa-OPHA) Health Equity Workgoup.
- What strategies are in place to reduce poverty in our community?
- Given that poverty is the biggest barrier to good health, what is our commitment and our government’s commitment to raising and increasing funding for community programs and services that offer social assistance and health promotion in our community?
Housing and physical environments
- There is a strong connection between good housing conditions and good health. How can we and our government ensure the availability of safe, adequate and affordable housing in our communities?
- Homelessness greatly impacts health. What can we and our government do to reduce homelessness in our city?
- How can we and our government ensure that everyone has access to healthy, affordable food close to where they live?
- There is growing support for more active transportation opportunities in our communities, including cycling and walking. How can we and our government support actions to make walking and biking easier and safer in our communities for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities?
- How can we and our government ensure the protection and conservation of air, land, water and other resources that help to guarantee our future health?
Funding and Support
- What initiatives and actions would you support to improve the overall health of residents in our community?
- As a political candidate, how do you intend to connect with the local public health unit as a key health system resource dedicated to keeping people healthy?
- Health promotion and prevention are important to good health. How can we and our government support policies and programs that emphasize prevention of illness over treatment of disease and allocate resources accordingly?
- Many chronic diseases and injuries are associated with alcohol use. What policies would you support to reduce alcohol-related harm?
- There is no health without mental health. Can you outline your plans to support mental health and improve the lives of people who are living with mental health or substance abuse challenges?
In addition to asking questions, there are other ways to create change.
It is critical that everyone who can vote, votes. Do you have friends or neighbours who may need help voting? Helping those around you to register and vote will encourage community participation on key political issues that matter in your community.
Elections Canada has resources on upcoming and past federal elections, candidates and parties, electoral district information and maps, and registration information.
Elections Ontario has resources on upcoming and past provincial elections, candidates and parties, electoral district information and maps, and registration information.
- Keep up to date on current events, political issues and information.
- Sign up for email updates or follow groups for information and debate.
- Like or share images, articles, advertisements or events on Facebook or Twitter.
- Display or distribute parts of campaigns or movements that support a healthy community for all.
- Call in to local radio shows to share your views.
- Record a video clip of your ideas and post it through social media and tag it to share with likeminded people or organizations.
- Submit a letter or opinion piece to your local newspaper or speak with a reporter.
- Start or sign a petition for causes you support.
Do you have any comments, questions, or ideas? Please contact us, we’d love to hear from you.
This item was last modified on December 23, 2015