Newfoundland & Labrador Provincial Election
The Provincial Election will be held on May 16. Help make cancer an election issue for all parties!
At the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS), we know that while cancer changes people, it doesn't have to define them. At CCS, we believe that life is bigger than cancer. As the only national charity that supports Canadians with all cancers in communities across the country - no other organization enables and empowers what CCS does. As the voice for Canadians who care about cancer, we:
- fund ground breaking research into more than 100 types of cancer
- offer trusted information, programs and services that help people with cancer and their families when they're unsure or anxious
- advocate to governments to drive important social change and funding for cancer related issues.
CCS is calling on all political parties to adopt meaningful and actionable platform commitments to address significant gaps in the cancer prevention and support for those living with cancer.
Our Priority Issues: Financial Assistance for Cancer Patients and Youth Smoking & Vaping
Transportation & Accommodation: Fix Gaps in the Medical Transportation and Assistance Program (MTAP)
The cost of medical-related travel and accommodations for all Newfoundlander & Labradorians, but particularly those living in rural and remote areas, is a significant barrier to the effective delivery of cancer care in the province. In Newfoundland & Labrador, most cancer patients requiring radiation treatment or specialized cancer services will be required to travel to St. John's for treatment. The costs associated with multiple trips from a rural area can be crippling in a time where most cancer patients see their income reduced due to employment leave.
While the Medical Transportation and Assistance Program (MTAP) does provide travel accommodation support, the process is cumbersome, inefficient and does not respond to the needs of the health care system and the patient. Research has shown that patients who live further away from treatment centers are more likely to cancel or not attend appointments.
The Canadian Cancer Society is urging government to repair the significant gaps in the Medical Transportation Assistance (MTAP) program, to more effectively meet the needs of people in rural and remote areas of our province.
Curb Youth Smoking and Vaping
Smoking rates in Newfoundland and Labrador are 20% - the highest in Canada. Given that 30% of all cancer deaths are directly related to smoking, stronger action is necessary to curb this deadly addiction.
The Canadian Cancer Society is urging provinces to address the growing rates of youth smoking and vaping. CCS advocates to increase the minimum age to purchase e-cigarette and tobacco products to 21.
To curb youth smoking rates, 12 U.S. states, including Virginia, Massachusetts and Oregon, have increased the legal minimum age to access tobacco and e-cigarettes to 21. Research from the U.S. Institute of Medicine reports that increasing the minimum age to 21 would reduce smoking initiation, reduce the prevalence of smoking, improve health outcomes, and save lives. Tobacco 21 laws are effective and enjoy high levels of public support.
Input from Party Leaders
CCS asked the leaders of the three main political parties to respond to specific questions about our top priorities. Click on the party below to view their responses, as they become available.
NL Liberal Party NL NDP Party
NL PC Party
Send a Letter to Party Leaders
Sample letter to party leader:
With nearly 1 in 2 Islanders expected to develop cancer in their lifetime, we need to ensure cancer issues stay top-of-mind for the party that forms the next Government of Newfoundland & Labrador.
I strongly support the Canadian Cancer Society's recommendations around the Medical Transportation and Assistance Program. If implemented, they could have a significant impact in reducing the cancer burden and supporting those living with cancer and beyond.
The cost of medical related travel for residents of Newfoundland and Labrador is crippling. Residents of rural and remote areas, and particularly those in Labrador, are experiencing tremendous hardship related to accessing their cancer treatment.
While the Medical Transportation and Assistance Program (MTAP) does provide travel accommodation support, up to various percentages, it can still leave patients with significant out of pocket costs. Patients also report that the MTAP application process is cumbersome, inefficient, and does not allow for flexibility when a patient's appointment is rescheduled, or a person is too ill to travel a long distance.
The Canadian Cancer Society is urging governement to repair the significant gaps in the Medical Transportation Assistance (MTAP) program, to more effectively meet the needs of people in rural and remote areas of our province.
Thank you for your time. I look forward to your response.