You are here: 
A-|A|A+

Cancer is an Election Issue

UPDATE:

Thanks to our many supporter and volunteers for raising awareness of the Boarding, Transportation and Ostomy (BTO) Program throughout the Provincial Election.

We saw a groundswell of support through the 600 online letters of support. Each of the parties submitted their response to our question on BTO, which you can read below. Most significant, however, were the headline news stories, such as Cancer Support Program Flaws Become Election Issue, Family Critical of NS Cancer Support Program, and others aired on CBC New Nova Scotia, CBC News, and the Chronicle Herald. 

A big special thanks to Susan Taylor and Maynard Simpson and Lodge residents Joey Johnstone and Michelle Ferguson for agreeing to share their stories with the media, and lending a powerful voice to this important fight.

The Liberal government was briefed on the BTO issue in the spring, and we look forward to working with them to see a change in this program.

The Canadian Cancer Society in Nova Scotia acknowledges the important role governments play in cancer prevention and health protection. All levels of government have the power to positively affect the health of their citizens.

The tools and information on this webpage are intended to inform you about the Society’s election priorities throughout the 2013 Nova Scotia Provincial Election. By voting for health, you can send a message to your MLA that cancer care and prevention is important to you. Join the conversation, and share what you’re doing to fight back. Engage your political candidates, and find out where they stand on issues.

Our goal throughout this election is to educate potential leaders about the importance of cancer-related issues and encourage them to support healthy public policy. Our goal is also to empower you, the voter, to act in the best interest of your health and that of your family, and to expect the same from your provincial government. Send a message that health is important to you!

Election Issues:
  1. Increase the maximum family income for the Boarding, Transportation & Ostomy (BTO) Program. This will ensure cancer patients across Nova Scotia are able to access life saving treatments, regardless of where they live in the province and their financial situation.
  1. Make the commitment necessary to implement Thrive! and provide increased annual investment to ensure its success. Our investment today in Thrive! will mean healthier Nova Scotians in the short term and in the future.
  • Boarding, Transportation & Ostomy

    The provincial Boarding, Transportation, and Ostomy (BTO) Program is a program developed and managed by the Government of Nova Scotia. It is designed to help patients more easily bear the financial burden associated with travel, accommodations, and supplies after receiving a diagnosis of cancer. To qualify, people need to have a gross annual family income no greater than $15,720 per year. The income eligibility maximum for the province’s BTO Programhas not been adjusted since 1994 and does not align with other provincially-funded assistance programs.

    This year alone, over 6,100 Nova Scotians will receive a devastating cancer diagnosis.  Over 91% of these families will experience significant financial hardship as a result of their illness. For the 43% of Nova Scotians who live in rural areas, the cost of travelling back and forth to a cancer centre in Halifax or Sydney – often up to 20 times – can be out of reach.

    For many families, the financial impact of cancer is crippling – resulting in severe debt and even bankruptcy. The Government of Nova Scotia’s Boarding, Transportation and Ostomy (BTO) Program was designed to alleviate a portion of the costs related to cancer treatments.

    Sign our Letter of Support

    Please sign the letter of support to show your support for people living with cancer by asking the Government of Nova Scotia to raise the income threshold for the BTO Program.

  • Thrive!

    In Nova Scotia, one in three children is overweight or obese, and our rates of chronic disease are among the highest in the country. By making even small improvements in diet and physical activity, we can greatly reduce the risk factors for chronic diseases.

    In 2012, Nova Scotia launched Thrive! a province-wide strategy for preventing childhood obesity and chronic diseases through creating environments supportive of healthier lifestyles. Thrive! supports communities, organizations and groups through education and funding for healthy eating initiatives, training and equipment, and sports and recreation. For instance, in 2012-13 Thrive! helped 66 initiatives across the province, including supporting groups and communities who couldn’t otherwise afford to participate in activities.

    Community by community, Thrive! is helping Nova Scotians get healthier. Through this strategic investment, Nova Scotia is on its way to significantly reducing preventable chronic diseases. In addition, as the strategy builds environments that support healthy eating and physical activity, individuals who have been diagnosed with chronic disease may also be supported to make lifestyle changes. This will support better disease management, and reduce the burden on our public health care system in the short term.

    The Canadian Cancer Society, in partnership with The Nova Scotia Alliance for Healthy Eating and Physical Activity is calling on all Nova Scotia provincial political parties and election candidates to support Thrive!. Health promotion must be a top priority for government, and increasing an investment in Thrive! is a smart investment in a healthier or Nova Scotia.

    For more information, please visit http://hpclearinghouse.ca/alliance/ProvElec2013.html

  • Party Responses

    The Canadian Cancer Society – Nova Scotia Division thanks the parties for their response to our question below on the Boarding, Transportation & Ostomy Program. We also thank the many Nova Scotian who signed our Letter of Support. We look forward to working with the new government to ensure better support for cancer patients.

    Question:

    The Provincial Government’s Boarding, Transportation, and Ostomy (BTO) Program is developed and managed by the Government of Nova Scotia. It is designed to help cancer patients more easily bear the financial burden associated with travel, accommodations, and supplies after receiving a diagnosis of cancer. To qualify, people need to have a gross annual family income no greater than $15,720 per year. The income eligibility threshold for the province’s BTO Program has not been adjusted since 1994 and is not in keeping with other provincially-funded assistance programs.

    Will your party commit to increasing the BTO threshold? If so, please provide details regarding what criteria your party would use to evaluate eligibility.

    Responses:

    NDP response
    Liberal Party response
    PC Party response

A-|A|A+

Stories

Dr Robert Day Targeting an “evil twin” enzyme in prostate cancer

How can you stop cancer before it starts?

It's My Life! icon

Discover how 16 factors affect your cancer risk and how you can take action with our interactive tool – It’s My Life! Presented in partnership with Desjardins.

Learn more