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2019 Federal election survey responses

Heart & Stroke asked the federal parties where they stand on issues from vaping to research. Here’s what we learned

In September 2019, a survey was sent to the following federal political parties asking for their position on a number of Heart & Stroke advocacy priorities. Survey questions and responses can be found below.


Is your party in favour of simple, easy-to-read nutrition labels on the front of food and beverage packaging to identify products high in sugar, salt and saturated fats?

Conservative Party of Canada (CPC): The Conservative Party is not currently considering a policy like this. However, we are proud that our previous Conservative government successfully partnered with Food and Consumer Products of Canada to educate Canadians on how to better understand nutrition labels.

Green Party of Canada (GPC): Absolutely. Consumers want to know so they can make informed decisions.

Liberal Party of Canada (LPC): Yes. Significant work was done in our first mandate to bring in new front-of-pack labeling, and a re-elected Liberal government will move forward to implement this important initiative.

New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP):  Yes. The NDP has long advocated for clearer food labeling to help Canadians make informed choices, whether it’s for the nutritional value of a food item or to indicate that it contains GMOs. 

A New Democrat government will implement effective front-of-package labelling requirements to help Canadians choose products that are lower in sodium, sugars, or saturated fat.

Is your party in favour of restricting the marketing of foods and beverages high in salt, sugar and saturated fats to children?

Conservative Party of Canada (CPC): The Conservative Party is not currently considering a policy like this. However, we are proud that our previous Conservative government made important improvements to food labels including making sugar more easy to identify in the list of ingredients.

We are open to hearing innovative proposals of how the government can work collaboratively with parents, industry, and health stakeholders to improve the diets of our children.

Green Party of Canada (GPC): Yes, in 2016 our members passed a motion to do precisely this.

Liberal Party of Canada (LPC): Yes. Liberals believe in giving our children the best start in life, and helping prevent chronic diseases and obesity. We know that eating patterns are set early in life, which is why we are in favour of limiting this kind of targeted advertising to kids. 

We were proud to support S-228 as it moved through the past Parliament, and a re-elected Liberal government would begin work quickly on a government-led bill to address marketing of unhealthy food and beverages toward kids.

New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP):  Yes. The NDP has had a longstanding commitment to restrict the marketing of junk food to children. For example, federal and provincial New Democrat parties have advocated to lower sodium in packaged foods and pushed for a Canada-wide trans-fat ban.  

We also supported S228, the Child Health Protection Act, to prohibit food and beverage marketing directed at children. The NDP was disappointed to see Conservatives rise to speak against S-228.

Does your party support the creation of a national school food program to provide children and youth with access to nutritious meals at school?

Conservative Party of Canada (CPC): The Conservative Party is not currently considering a policy like this.

The best way to ensure that children and youth have access to nutritious meals is to ensure that parents have easy-to-understand information about nutrition. 

Green Party of Canada (GPC): Yes we do.

Liberal Party of Canada (LPC): Yes. Our government was very pleased to announce in the most recent budget our intention to work with the provinces and territories towards the creation of a National School Food Program, to help improve the overall health of our children as they learn, leading to better futures for them, and ultimately for our country.

The Liberal Party believes it critically important for a child’s education to ensure that they have healthy meals before and during school. However, Canada currently has a mix of different school breakfast and lunch programs that leave many children hungry, undernourished, or eating unhealthy foods too often. We will work with the provinces and territories to bring forward a consistent national plan. 

New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP):  Yes. The NDP will partner with provinces, territories, municipalities, and Indigenous communities to work towards a national school nutrition program that will give every child in Canada access to healthy food, and the food literacy skills to make healthy choices for life. 

We’ll aim to make culturally-appropriate food available to children in every community in Canada, so that all children can grow and learn. 

Does your party support the development of a national pharmacare program to improve access to cost-effective medicines for all people in Canada?
*If yes*: Does your party support a national pharmacare program in which the public payer is the first payer?

Conservative Party of Canada (CPC): Conservatives know that some Canadians struggle to pay for or access prescription medications.   

However, the evidence shows that this is not a problem for the vast majority of Canadians, which calls into question the need for a billion-dollar, national program.

In fact, data from Statistics Canada data from 2016 shows that, on average, at every income level, Canadian households spend more on food purchased from restaurants than on medicine.

Our platform will include targeted, sustainable healthcare proposals, including on medication, that will improve the health of Canadians.

Green Party of Canada (GPC): We have advocated for this since at least 2006 - in conjunction with the CMA and several provinces.  It's time to save money and lives by adding pharmaceuticals to our healthcare coverage.

Liberal Party of Canada (LPC):  Yes.

No Canadian should have to choose between paying for prescription drugs and putting food on the table. While Canadians are proud of our healthcare system, many are still forced to make sometimes decisions. These decisions are even more difficult when it comes to the health needs of children and youth, which put even greater strain on any family.

That is why we have taken historic action to reform drug prices, changes which have now been brought into law, and which will save Canadians $13 billion over the next decade.
As a government and as a party, we gratefully accept the report by Dr. Hoskins and the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare and the report is an important step in laying the foundation for a national pharmacare program.

We have already committed to working together with provinces and territories to create a Canadian Drug Agency that will make medications more affordable by negotiating better drug prices on behalf of all Canadians and to establish a common national formulary, based on the best available evidence. In particular, we know that the cost of many drugs for rare diseases can be astronomical, so we are putting in place a national strategy for rare disease drugs to help Canadians get the life-saving drugs that they need. 

If re-elected, we will work closely with the provinces and territories, and our partners and stakeholders in order to achieve national, universal pharmacare so that all Canadians have access to the medications they need at an affordable price. 

Our newly announced investment of an additional $6 billion over the next four years will include dedicated funding to further the progress we have already made towards universal pharmacare for all Canadians, as guided by the Advisory Council.

New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP): The NDP will create a national pharmacare program that provides universal, public, comprehensive coverage to everyone in Canada. We believe that our national pharmacare program must be publicly-operated.

The need is clear – as Canadians from coast to coast face a growing income gap, the loss of employer benefits and increasingly precarious work, too many in our communities are forced to make the choice between medically necessary drugs, and other essentials like shelter and food.  

The NDP wants to provide head to toe health care coverage for Canadians. This principle is at the heart of New Democrats’ unwavering commitment to publicly funded and publicly operated health care. Universal access to public health care is one of the proudest achievements of New Democrats.

Federal and provincial governments as well as universities and charities provide funding for health research focusing on a range of different health conditions and diseases.
Does your party agree that the federal government should: Increase funding for health research that focuses on women’s health?

Conservative Party of Canada (CPC): Conservatives believe that important research dollars should be maintained and focused on areas of the most need.  

Green Party of Canada (GPC): As a pro-science party, that is our position.  Yes.

Liberal Party of Canada (LPC):  Yes. 

To deliver better health care for women, we will move forward to find and eliminate the gaps in the quality of care women receive. We will work with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to integrate sex and gender-based analyses, as well as diversity analyses, to ensure research takes diversity factors into account to improve women’s health care. We will also provide $30 million next year to enhance pediatric cancer research, as we build toward a long-term plan that provides sustainable funding and priorities.

All of this builds on the historic investments we made in fundamental science, including health research, which we announced as part of Budget 2018 and which we will continue to implement if returned with another mandate.

New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP): Yes, the NDP believes in the importance of research and advocacy to advance women’s equality in Canada.  As pointed out in the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s 2018 Health Report, women unnecessarily suffer when health research and policy fails to consider women’s health care needs.

Canadian women deserve better. An NDP government is committed to head to toe health coverage, which includes ensuring that federally-funded research has an equity-based lens to support equity-based outcomes. 

The Liberals have failed to back up their words with strong action to address systemic discrimination against women, and the Conservatives slashed funding for women’s equality while they were in power, setting us back decades. 

Federal and provincial governments as well as universities and charities provide funding for health research focusing on a range of different health conditions and diseases.
Does your party agree that the federal government should: Require that federally funded research studies include sufficient female and male research subjects so the findings can apply to both females and males?

Conservative Party of Canada (CPC): Conservatives would definitely consider this policy, where appropriate, as it aligns with the goal of spending tax dollars efficiently and maximizing the usefulness of research findings.

Green Party of Canada (GPC): Good science requires good sample data. So broad data points for male, female, and other genders is required as well as BMI and sometimes race and dietary variations. We trust the science.

Liberal Party of Canada (LPC):  Yes. To do so, we will create a National Institute for Women’s Health Research, the first of its kind in Canada. The Institute would bring together experts in women’s health from across the country to tackle persistent gaps in research and care – taking an intersectional approach that includes race, ability, indigeneity and more.

New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP): Yes, the NDP believes in the importance of research and advocacy to advance women’s equality in Canada. As pointed out in Heart & Stroke’s 2018 Health Report, women unnecessarily suffer when health research and policy fails to consider women’s health care needs.

Canadian women deserve better. An NDP government is committed to head to toe health coverage, which includes ensuring that federally-funded research has an equity-based lens to support equity-based outcomes. 

The Liberals have failed to back up their words with strong action to address systemic discrimination against women, and the Conservatives slashed funding for women’s equality while they were in power, setting us back decades. 

Does your party support increasing the placement of defibrillators in areas under federal jurisdiction, such as federal public buildings, RCMP vehicles, etc.?

Conservative Party of Canada (CPC): We are proud that it was our previous Conservative government that invested $10 million to install defibrillators in hockey rinks across Canada.

While we are not currently considering expanding the placement of defibrillators under federal jurisdiction at this time, we would be open to considering building on the success of our legacy in the future.

Green Party of Canada (GPC): Yes.  It's been shown to save lives.

Liberal Party of Canada (LPC):  As a government, we have consistently looked at ways to improve the health and safety conditions of federal buildings for employees and all Canadians. 

If re-elected, we would be open to exploring how we could improve and increase the placement of defibrillators in areas under federal jurisdiction, and to collaborate on additional steps with other levels of government and service providers to provide easy and equitable access to defibrillators in all regions.

New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP): Yes. The NDP wants to provide head to toe health care coverage for Canadians. This principle is at the heart of New Democrats’ unwavering commitment to public health care. Universal access to public health care is one of the proudest achievements of New Democrats.

Improving access to defibrillators means that we can increase the likeliness of saving a life. This is part of the NDP’s commitment to providing comprehensive care for Canadian families.

Does your party support banning all promotion and marketing of vaping products across the country, with the exception of specialty, adult-only vape shops?

Conservative Party of Canada (CPC): While vaping technology may have great potential as a smoking cessation aid or at least an alternative to smoking, we are concerned by recent reports that show that youth who have never smoked before are taking up vaping.

Our previous Conservative government took action to ban all tobacco advertising.

We will continue to monitor the rates of vaping among youth and take action as needed. 

Green Party of Canada (GPC): With the exception of specialty, adult-only vape shops - yes.  Smoking cessation is vital, but let's not replace it with something new.

Liberal Party of Canada (LPC):  Earlier this year we proposed further restrictions on vaping ads to better protect youth including ads in public spaces like on billboards.

A re-elected Liberal government will move forward with further steps to keep vaping away from teenagers and youth, and better regulate how companies market and formulate vaping products.

New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP): The NDP has led the fight for strong tobacco legislation for decades. Recently, the NDP pushed the Liberals to expand the effort to control the marketing and availability of vaping products, especially for children and youth. The NDP calls for a ban on the promotion and marketing of vaping products, particularly towards non-smokers. 

Does your party support restricting e-cigarette flavours that appeal to youth (e.g. fruit, candy, dessert) so that children and youth are not enticed to vape?

Conservative Party of Canada (CPC): It was our previous Conservative government that took action to ban tobacco flavours that appeal to youth.

We will continue to monitor the rates of vaping among youth and take action as needed. 

Green Party of Canada (GPC): 100% Yes.

Liberal Party of Canada (LPC):  A re-elected Liberal government will move forward with further steps to keep vaping away from teenagers and youth, and better regulate how companies market and formulate vaping products.

New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP): Yes. The NDP strongly advocates for an absolute restriction on flavoured vaping products that appeal to youth. The NDP called on the Liberals to expand the list of flavoured vaping products scheduled to be banned to ensure that there were no marketing loopholes for children and youth.

The NDP advocated closing the door on allowing any possibility of flavoured vaping products that might be attractive to children and youth. The Liberals decided to vote against this amendment, which weakened the efficacy of the bill to protect children and youth against vaping products. 

Does your party support an annual cost recovery fee on the tobacco industry that could be used to fully fund the annual cost of the federal tobacco control strategy?

Conservative Party of Canada (CPC): Yes.

Green Party of Canada (GPC): Yes.

Liberal Party of Canada (LPC):  In Budget 2018 we increased investments in the federal tobacco control strategy, including through changes in taxation on tobacco products so they keep pace with inflation, as part of other important steps we have been taking to reduce tobacco consumption and improve cessation. 

We will continue to monitor appropriate and effective ways to achieve the long-term goal of reducing consumption to 5% by 2025 (“5 by 25”).

New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP): The NDP supports a federal tobacco control strategy. The NDP believes that tobacco companies must be held accountable and to ensure they provide financial compensation for the costs imposed on the healthcare system as a result of addictive, harmful tobacco habits. 

Under the Conservative and Liberal governments, the federal government had a poorly developed federal tobacco control strategy because they failed to implement an active mass media public education campaign to discourage smoking.

 
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