#WHATWEWANTYOUTOKNOW About the 2021 Federal Election

news image

On Monday, September 20, 2021, Canadians head to the polls to elect the  federal government. If you have a child/family member with disabilities or a developmental need or if you are a service provider supporting those with disabilities, it’s important that you vote. You have the power to make an impact and influence change. Your vote matters, make it count!

Although children’s treatment centres are funded by the provincial government of Ontario, the federal government is responsible for some key financial programs that support those with disabilities such as the Child Disability Benefit, the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) and some education programs. While most of the federal government support comes in the form of funding and tax credits for individuals and families, there are other opportunities for the federal government to support and protect the rights of those with disabilities.

According to recent polls, health/healthcare and managing the pandemic tops the list of respondents concerns for the future of Canada and all of its citizens. In addition, we know that the next federal government will be tasked with pandemic recovery. That's why it’s even more important for parents, caregivers and service providers supporting those with disabilities and developmental needs to vote for a party whose platform aligns with 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 will do if they are elected. If your child has a disability, you may want to search out what each party’s platform contains in terms of providing support to your children and and families like yours. You may also want to search other topics  that are important to you (like healthcare, jobs, education, pandemic recovery, reconciliation, disability benefits, anti-racism, etc.). Click on the major political parties below (listed in alphabetical order) to read their platforms and look for information that applies to or interests 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 candidates are active on social media (Facebook and Twitter), follow them to see what issues they stand behind or 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.
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 disabilities?
  • What federal programs will you support that help families like mine?
  • What are your plans to increase support or funding for children and youth with disabilities?
  • How would you advocate for the children that I support with disabilities?
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 disabilities in your local area, trust your knowledge and share why these services and funding 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 disabilities and developmental 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.

Are you a person 18 or older with a disability? If you have a disability or know someone who does, Elections Canada has many tools and services to make it easier to vote. Visit this page to find out the ways in which voting is now more accessible.