Toronto – The Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) applauds recent commitments in the platforms of the Liberal, New Democratic and Green parties to support people with diabetes.
“We are pleased to see diabetes on the agenda for this federal election,” stated CDA President and CEO Rick Blickstead. “We call on all parties to support those with diabetes and to prevent diabetes whenever possible.”
The Liberal Party has pledged to improve access to prescription medications through bulk-buying of medications within a renewed Health Accord with the provinces and territories. The New Democratic and Green Parties have also committed to improving access to medications.
The NDP has committed to expanding the National Diabetes Strategy to improve diabetes prevention, early screening and better disease management in communities at higher risk. The Strategy, created in 1999, focuses on the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes and its complications. In 2005, the federal government renewed funding for the Strategy to implement a cross country approach to diabetes, providing $18 million per year to the Public Health Agency of Canada to this end. The CDA has called for increased funding to reflect the growth in diabetes prevalence since the Strategy’s creation.
Further, the NDP has committed to banning junk food and beverage advertising targeted towards children. These are important measures to help prevent type 2 diabetes, given that unhealthy weights are risk factors for the development of prediabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. Sixty per cent of adult Canadians and one-third of those aged 5 to 17 years are overweight or obese. Children who are obese are at increased risk of remaining overweight or obese as adults.
Finally, the Green Party of Canada has confirmed its support for the CDA’s call for a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs). Some foreign governments have used such taxes to decrease SSB consumption given evidence of a connection between high SSB consumption and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and also gestational diabetes. Mexico, France, regions in the U.S. and Europe have applied such taxes. Preliminary results from Mexico, which added a 10 per cent tax to non-dairy and non-alcoholic drinks with added sugar, have shown a six per cent decline in purchases compared to pre-tax trends.
During this federal election campaign, the CDA urges all parties to commit to the following priorities:
- A tax on sugar-sweetened beverages because of the direct connection between high consumption of these drinks and the development of type 2 diabetes.
- Establishing a national pharmacare program so that people with diabetes can access the medications, devices and supplies they need to manage their disease.
- Expanding the disability tax credit to include all people with type 1 diabetes to provide financial relief for burdensome annual expenses.
Listen to Rick Blickstead explain the three election priorities:
Learn more about how to get involved in the election campaign to take action on diabetes by visiting diabetes.ca/votediabetes.
About the CDA
The CDA is the registered national charity that helps the more than 10 million Canadians with diabetes or prediabetes live healthy lives, and educates those at risk. In communities across Canada, the CDA:
- offers a wide array of support services to members of the public;
- offers resources to health-care professionals on best practices to care for people with diabetes;
- advocates to governments, schools, workplaces and others on behalf of people with diabetes; and funds research on better treatments and to find a cure.
For more information, visit diabetes.ca or call (226-8464).