The following is a selection of election toolkits from First Call coalition members. Members are welcome to send in your own election toolkit for us to circulate in this newsletter.
$10ADAY CHILD CARE PLAN: CHILD CARE CHALLENGE TO POLITICAL PARTIES
This International Women’s Day, Mar. 8, advocates from the $10aDay child care campaign sent out a news release challenging all BC political parties to adopt, match or top the $10aDay Child Care Plan in their election platforms.
The child care advocates called for a step-by-step increase in government funding that can lower fees to a maximum of $10aDay, create enough spaces, and enhance quality by ensuring early childhood educators are fairly paid and well educated.
They say that within four years we can meet the needs of families with children under age three. By the end of a second term of government in office we can make quality, universal $10aDay Child Care available for all children under six.
The $10aDay campaign has also released an updated fact sheet highlighting the relationship between the $10aDay Child Care Plan and a poverty reduction strategy for BC.
Find more info at 10aday.ca and sign the petition
BC ASSOCIATION FOR CHILD DEVELOPMENT AND INTERVENTION
The BCACDI is a leader in delivering services to children and youth with developmental disabilities. Their toolkit provides key priorities and encourages you to ask your local candidates if they will:
1. Support provincial investment to end wait lists for early intervention therapies and supports for children and youth with special needs
2. Commit to deliver early childhood intervention by working to resolve systemic challenges.
BC ASSOCIATION OF SOCIAL WORKERS
The BCASW election toolkit aims to prepare social workers to raise their voice at all-candidate meetings.
The toolkit contains backgrounders and questions on issues that the public has identified as important, including housing and homelessness, child poverty, child care and the living wage. It also raises questions on issues directly related to the work of social workers such as extending support for youth from care and providing adequate counselling for traumatized children.
BC FEDERATION OF STUDENTS
The BC Federation of Students has a brand new website (http://www.wearebcstudents.ca/) and logo – as well as a campaign to get students out to vote by encouraging them to take the pledge at http://www.studentsarevoting.ca/
They also have the Squash the Squeeze campaign on high student debt.
Vancouver Sun: Opinion: B.C. students are definitely voting, and do care
BC POVERTY REDUCTION COALITION ELECTION WEBSITE – MAKE POVERTY PUBLIC
The BC Poverty Reduction Coalition has created an election website, Make Poverty Public.
You will find stats, stories, political analysis, resources and more at www.makepovertypublic.ca – including their election toolkit, Celebration of Humanity all candidates meeting toolkit and ways to take action.
BC SOCIETY OF TRANSITION HOUSES
BC Society of Transition Houses’ 2017 Election Toolkit encourages election candidates to inform British Columbians about how they will work to eliminate violence against women and children if elected.
Use this toolkit as a starting point to draft letters to your local candidates to advocate for legislation, policy and practice commitments that benefit women and children experiencing gender-based violence. BCSTH will be sending letters to party leaders based on the information from this toolkit.
CAPE: GETTING ECOLOGICAL HEALTH FACTORS INTO THE ELECTION DEBATE
The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) has prepared background information and questions for election candidates regarding the health aspects of five major environment issues: Fracking, public transportation, carbon taxation, Site C dam and the Kinder Morgan pipeline.
Join CAPE in Vancouver on Friday, Apr. 28 for their event: LNG – Fracking Up Our Health?
CMHA #B4STAGE4 QUESTIONS FOR LOCAL CANDIDATES
All the major political parties have announced landmark platform commitments for mental health and addiction.
In the weeks leading up to the election, candidates in your riding may call you, knock on your door or participate in all-candidates meetings. These are key opportunities to let them know that mental health and addiction are important voting issues.
Use this quick guide to start a conversation about mental health and addiction.
- Tell them that mental health and addiction is a key election issue for you. If you have a personal story – share it. If not – you can simply say ”Too many people are waiting for basic mental health care.”
- Then ask “If elected, how will your party work towards better mental health in BC as of May 10th?”.
- If they say…
- We will invest in mental health needs and substance use issues – tell them that where the money is spent is more important than simply spending the money. We must prioritize early intervention and prevention. There is strong evidence to suggest that if we intervene early in primary care settings and provide access to community-based services and supports, people can and do recover from mental illnesses and/or addictions. This reorientation of care will not only provide help at the first sign of symptoms, but also alleviate the burden placed on acute care facilities. Ask them where they will invest.
- We will establish a Ministry for Mental Health and Addictions – tell them that this is great step forward for parity between mental health and addiction, and physical health, but won’t immediately solve the critical shortages we are experiencing in our healthcare system. Ask them how the establishment of a separate Ministry will ensure treatment is available and effective for those in need.
- We will address the opioid crisis to reduce overdose deaths – tell them we need strategies that respond rather than react. We must create an integrated addictions system of care that can fully support someone from illness to health. This foundation is crucial for the effective implementation of further harm reduction strategies, such as public education on the dangers of fentanyl-laced street drugs, safe-injection sites and substitution therapy. People are more likely recover if they have access to appropriate facilities, services and supports.
- Be sure to end the conversation with the message “I am voting for mental health.”
FEDERATION OF COMMUNITY SERVICES OF BC
The Federation of Community Social Services of BC has identified two key goals for the 2017 provincial election:
1. A greater number of social issues make it onto the agendas of politicians across the province.
2. Eligible voters across the province better understand the breadth and impact of social issues facing BC.
The FCSSBC’s Life in BC snapshot series – eight fact sheets on the state of social care in BC – helps people understand their connection to the social issues facing BC. These snapshots describe what’s at stake and what needs to change in order for the people of British Columbia to prosper and thrive.
The children and youth snapshot focuses on the issue of youth in care.
FOSTERING CHANGE BC ELECTION CAMPAIGN – #SUPPORTTHE700
Fostering Change’s new campaign #SUPPORTTHE700 invites all candidates in the 2017 British Columbia Provincial Election to demonstrate their commitment to the success of approximately 700 youth who age out of foster care each year in BC.
The website – fosteringchange.ca – makes it easy for you to contact all the candidates in your riding, and keep track of the promises they make. There’s a great little tool where you can enter your postal code, your candidates will come up and you can send them an email urging their support.
At the water cooler or the dinner table, this simple Conversation Starter Guide will give you great ideas for starting a conversation about how we can do more to support youth aging out of foster care.
Try out some social media graphics and see what your friends think about this issue.
The Study Circle Kit workbooks show you how to have in-depth conversations with a group of regulars over the course of a few sessions. You don’t need to be a trained facilitator – just curious and willing to learn.
Inclusion BC invites you to join in pursuing the vision of a province where we all belong. A province where each child has the love and support they need to thrive and achieve their full potential. Where families and communities are empowered, providing a welcoming and supportive place for all.
Print and share the Inclusion BC’s BC Election 2017 Toolkit, including background and questions for candidates on four priority issues. Use these BC Election 2017 hashtags and spread the word:
LIVING WAGE FOR FAMILIES CAMPAIGN
Are you part of a group organizing an all-candidates meeting or an event? The Living Wage for Families Campaign has set up a provincial election website (www.goodjobsbc.ca) with a photo booth kit (pdf) for you to show support for the living wage in your community.
The Living Wage for Families Campaign is calling for all parties to commit to a living wage for all provincial government direct and contract staff. The provincial government should take action to end poverty, not create it.
BC is the last province without a poverty reduction plan, and we have the second-highest rate of poverty in Canada. Paying a living wage to all direct and contract staff is a key part of an overall poverty reduction strategy. We have the ability to create good jobs and invest in our communities.
Seven local governments across BC have committed to paying a living wage to all direct and contract staff. Paying a living wage is an achievable and practical way to show leadership on the issue of working poverty. It’s time for the BC government to step up.
LETTER FROM MOUNT PLEASANT FAMILY CENTRE
To be a healthy prosperous province, we need to support our most vulnerable
Manjit Garcha of the Mount Pleasant Family Centre works to settle newcomers to BC. She has penned a passionate letter calling whoever forms government to support our most vulnerable families.
“If we care about our future we need to care for the children who will build that future, and that includes newcomers and children of refugees. Supporting them is a part of supporting a healthy province and a healthy country. When it comes time to elect BC’s government this year, that is something we must remember.”
This letter was written with the help of Marshall Watson from the Federation of Community Social Services of BC.
PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION OF BC ELECTION TOOLKIT 2017
This toolkit offers members of the Public Health Association of BC (PHABC) suggestions to guide their advocacy in support of the policies that will improve the health of the population.
The PHABC election agenda addresses the issue of inequality. From a public health perspective, social, economic, and environmental conditions should promote optimal health, and all citizens have a right to opportunities for success and prosperity.
The toolkit provides suggested activities that members can pursue in the lead-up to voting day on May 9, 2017 as well as an advocacy framework highlighting some of the important evidence-based policies PHABC would like to see enacted in BC.