As Ontarians get ready to head to the polls this October, most political parties are beginning to connect the dots between their respective promises for a better, healthier Ontario and the important role of Community Health Centres in the province. But communities across Ontario want more details about how each party proposes to expand access for Ontarians to high-quality health care through Community Health Centres (CHCs) and Aboriginal Health Access Centres (AHACs).
And in the case of the lone political party yet to begin responding to these requests from Ontario communities — the Progressive Conservative Party — Ontarians are sending a clear message to party leader, Tim Hudak: “start connecting the dots!” Currently, the Ontario PC Party is the lone party whose political platform, called ChangeBook, and its response to a survey of all political parties by Canada’s Community Health Centres Association, are completely silent on the party’s commitment to delivering these health system solutions for Ontarians. This, despite the fact that local PC candidates in several Ontario ridings and the party’s Health Critic, Christine Elliott, have signed local petitions supporting the call to increase access for Ontarians to these services.
Those were the key messages coming out of a media conference this morning in Markham, Ontario, where local community members and groups came together to call on local candidates and their political parties to fully “connect the dots” and respond to the specific requests of communities across Ontario for increased access to health care for their families and communities through CHCs and AHACs.
The morning event was hosted by Social Services Network, an agency serving diverse south Asian community members and groups throughout York Region. The agency has been coordinating the local request from tens of thousands of community members throughout York Region for a new Community Health Centre to serve residents of Markham and Richmond Hill. And with only 4 percent of Ontario residents currently able to access the team-based, preventive healthcare services of a CHC or AHAC, many other communities throughout the province are rallying behind the same call to action from Ontario’s political parties. Ontarians have been adding their name to an online petition calling for further commitments from all political parties. And thousands of others are signing postcards to tell the parties to expand access to CHCs and AHACs.
The event marked the first in a series of activities being coordinated by CACHCA and community partners in all provinces where provincial elections are taking place this fall — Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan. CACHCA and Ontario community partners released today the first in a series of responses from political parties in these provinces to key questions regarding steps to improve health and health care across Canada.
- See the responses from all of Ontario’s political parties regarding commitment to expanding access for Ontarians to CHCs and AHACs.
- Read a full press release from today’s community gathering in Markham.
- Add your name to online petition. Help improve access to health care solutions in Ontario.