2019 Federal Election: Here's What You Need to Know

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On Monday, October 21, 2019, Canadians head to the polls to elect a new federal government. If you have a child/family member with special needs or a service provider supporting those with special needs it’s important that you vote. You have the power to make an impact and influence change. Your vote matters, make it count!

Federal programs don’t typically fund children’s treatment centres in Ontario, but the federal government is responsible for some 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 funding. But there are other opportunities for the federal government to support and protect the rights of those with disabilities.

According to an Ipsos poll conducted in May 2019, health/healthcare tops the list of personal concerns for the future of Canada. That's why it’s even more important for parents, caregivers and service providers supporting those with special needs vote for a party whose platform aligns to their priorities.

Here's how you can make an informed decision…

Be in the Know
It’s important to be an informed voter and learn about party platforms. Platforms outline a party’s priorities and what they say they would do if they were elected. If your child has special needs, you may want to search out what parties are saying they will do to support kids and families like yours. You may also want to search other items that are important to you (like healthcare, jobs, education, etc.). Click on the major political parties below to read their platforms and look for information that applies to you.

There are also other parties that are part of our federal system. A full listing is available via Elections Canada .     
Get to Know your Local Candidates

  • When local candidates knock on your door ask them questions about what is important to you.
  • Since most candidate are active on social media (Facebook and Twitter), reach out to ask questions or express your concerns.
  • Candidates hold a number of local meetings, debates and community events for the duration of the campaign and these are typically public events. Participate in these activities and events as much as you can. You can access the debate on TV (CPAC), newspaper, radio, digital and social media platforms.

Unsure of what questions to ask? Try these as a starting point…

  • What is your party planning to do to support families of kids and youth with special needs?
  • What federal programs will you support that help families like mine?
  • What are your plans to increase support for children and youth with disabilities?
  • How would you advocate for the children that I support with special needs?

Be Confident
Sometimes talking to candidates can feel intimidating, but remember your voice matters! Here are some general communication tips to help you feel confident:

  • Start by introducing yourself as a local constituent.
  • Candidates may speak to you about their own party’s priorities. Listen to what they have to say, but find a way to refocus the conversation by expressing your concern or questions.
  • Speak from the heart. When you talk about the programs and services provided for children and youth 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 to help illustrate your point. Demonstrate why it is important for candidates to include children and youth with special needs as a priority in their platforms.

How to vote
Wondering how to vote, what you need to do or where you can vote? Visit Elections Canada for more information.