Provincial candidates from Toronto Centre riding debate party health care priorities

02 June 2014

TORONTO -

Ontario residents head to the polls in 10 days and yet health care has not been an election focus. 
Yesterday, National Cancer Survivor Day, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, with the Eye Opener, hosted a health-focused debate moderated by Laura Di Battista, with Glen Murray from the Liberal Party and Kate Sellar from the New Democratic Party, in the riding of Toronto Centre, to find out where provincial political parties stand on health-care policies.

"About half of all cancers can be prevented through healthy living and policies that protect the health of Ontarians,” says Rowena Pinto, Vice President, Public Affairs, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division. “Advocating for these measures is a vital part of the Society’s fight against cancer. We will continue to call on elected provincial officials to implement health policies that will prevent cancer and support those living with the disease.”

Cancer continues to be the leading cause of death in Canada and is the disease most feared by Canadians. In 2014, an estimated 73,800 Ontarians will receive a new cancer diagnosis.  

During the debate, the Toronto Centre candidates highlighted their party’s health care platforms. 

The Society is calling on provincial parties to act on the following measures to ensure a healthy Ontario:

  • Funding of take home cancer drugs. 
    • Currently Ontario lags behind Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia who all have comprehensive provincial programs that provide full coverage for eligible cancer drugs taken at home.
    • Studies show financial struggles impact cancer treatment decisions made by patients and whether to follow through with their treatment plan. Financial concerns should not be the primary factor in making a decision on a drug treatment plan for or by a cancer patient.
  • Eliminate all flavoured tobacco products. 
    • The vast majority of smokers start smoking before the age of 18 and colourful packaging and candy flavoured tobacco products entice youth.
    • In Ontario, 57,000 students in grades 6 – 12 reported using a flavoured tobacco product in the last 30 days.

Make health an election issue by visiting takeaction.cancer.ca . Ontarians must take action to ensure their health is protected.


The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.

For more information, please contact:

Justin Edmonstone

Public Affairs

Canadian Cancer Society

Ontario Division

Phone: 416-323-7026