On Monday, October 19, 2015, Canadians head to polls to elect a new federal government. If you're a caregiver of someone with special needs or a professional who works to support those with special needs you need to vote. Here's why.
The federal government is responsible for many financial programs that support those with disabilities. From tax credits to the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) to general support for education programs, it mostly comes down to money. But there are other opportunities for the federal government to support and protect the rights of those with disabilities.
That's why it is important for caregivers of those with special needs and individuals who work in the system to get out and vote for a party whose platform best meets their family priorities and interests. Here's how you can make an informed decision.
In Canada there are four main federal political parties.Click on the links below to visit their websites, where you can read their party platforms.
There are also other parties that are part of our federal system. A full listing is available via the Elections Canada
Engage with Local Candidates
- When local candidates knock on your door ask them questions about what is important to you.
- Reach out on social media to ask questions. Most candidates will be active on Facebook and Twitter.
- Attend all-candidate meetings and debates. You can find out about when these are scheduled through your local papers or online.
- Encourage your family members and friends to vote based on the priorities that are important to them.
Not sure what types of question to ask? Try these as a starting point:
Sometimes talking to candidates can feel intimidating, but remember your voice matters!
Here are some general communication tips to help you feel confident:
Wondering how to vote, what you need to do or where you can vote? Visit www.elections.ca.
- Start by introducing yourself as a local constituent.
- Candidates may speak to you about their own party’s priorities. It is important to listen but try to find a way to focus the conversation back to what you would like to share or the questions you want to ask.
- Speak from the heart and trust yourself. When you talk about the services provided for children with special needs in your local area trust your knowledge and share why these services are important.
- Share personal stories and anecdotes about your child that help illustrate your point and demonstrate why it is important for candidates to include the priorities of kids with special needs and their families as part of their campaigns.