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Letter From the Editors, September 2003

In this issue, we present a round up of election resources that have come to our attention and a repost of Tracy Howson's (the Acting Manager of the Heart Health Resource Centre) letter to the Heart Health listserv.

If you have a resource or point of view to add to this article, let us know by writing to More information on our Letters to the Editor column can be found in the OHPE News section of OHPE 268.0 ( ViewAnnouncements.cfm?ISSUE_ID=268&startrow=1).

I Elections! Do not miss this golden opportunity

Once in a blue moon we have an opportunity and responsibility to do some serious policy leveraging. These opportunities really shouldn't be missed.

The election activity is now beginning to heat up. October 2 is the date for the provincial elections. November 10 is the date for the municipal elections.

This is a golden opportunity, during candidates debates, for your communities to get their key issues on the political agenda. It is our civic responsibility to find out where the candidates' position is on various issues and for the candidates to hear what is near and dear to their possible constituent's hearts.

Listservs [such as the Heart-Health list] offer an opportunity for folks to share what issues they have brought forward in the past or are planning to bring forward and to suggest some possible questions or strategies.

Several organizations including (but not limited to) OPHA, alPHa, RNAO have prepared information packages and submitted these to all parties. Their websites should have information that would be useful.

Make certain your questions are clearly stated, get your questions on the debate agenda if necessary and be persistent in ensuring your questions gets answered.

It is well known that municipal governments have great influence over what determines our health. Likewise, your future MPP holds considerable power over how your tax dollars get allocated.

Find out where the debates are occurring, mobilize your partnership and get your questions on the table. Find out what the candidates stand for and who would be the greatest advocate for your issues.

Tracy Howson

Manager (Acting)

Heart Health Resource Centre

Ontario Public Health Association

468 Queen Street East, Ste 202

Toronto, Ontario M5A 1T7

P:(416) 367-3313 ext. 229 or 1-800-267-6817

F:(416) 367-2844

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II Round up of Election Guides and Electoral Campaigns


Paula Neves' message to the Apolnet listserv provides a guide to where the three major provincial parties stand on impaired driving, mental health and addictions, injury/AOD prevention and related issues.

* Association of Local Public Health Agencies

Read alPHa's summary of the public health related pledges from each of the 2003 Ontario NDP, Liberal and PC platforms at

* Canadian Mental Health Association

To help voters prepare for the October 2 election, CMHA, Ontario, has developed an online resource centre at featuring fact sheets, a candidate list and summary of party platforms, information about voting and helping homeless people to vote and tips on how to get involved.

* Child Poverty Action Coalition

Campaign 2000 has a set of election resources about child and family poverty available on

their website by clicking on the top link from the main page at

The 2003 Ontario election resources section includes links to the following PDF files: An Agenda for Action on Child Poverty: Where do the Parties Stand?, Child poverty backgrounder, Report on child poverty in Ontario and Pay the Rent and Feed the Kids Lobby campaign materials.

* Disabled Women's Network Ontario [added 9/15]

Their page has information and links to various social justice campaigns strategically timed to coincide with the 2003 Ontario provincial elections, including health, homelessness, disability, poverty, minimum wage and more, at

[Source: via CED Network E-bulletin]

* Maple Leaf Web - Ontario Election 2003 [added 9/15]

This page from the University of includes highlights of parties' platforms, leaders' bios, how to join each of the parties, how to register as a candidate, and more. A non-profit, non-partisan Canadian political education website that aims to provide educators, students and the attentive public with a credible source for political education and information:

[Source: via CED Network E-bulletin]

* Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee

ODA's 2003 Election Action Kit, United To Achieve A Barrier-Free Ontario, is available at http://

* Ontario Provincial Election News

From, the site includes links and articles at

* Ontario Public Health Association

Their Voter's Guide, designed for use in municipal, provincial and federal elections, was revised

April 2003. Get your copy by calling OPHA (416) 367-3313 / 1-800-267-6817 or download a 12 page PDF from The kit includes a voters guide, tips for meeting with candidates and politicians, letters to the editor and candidates and key messages

* People-Planet Friendly News

This site provides a collection links at, including links for Ottawa, Toronto and other municipalities, provincial links, events and meetings and other sites and resources of interest.

Promote The Vote is a non-profit, non-partisan organization who aim to promote the vote! In particular we are focussing our efforts toward two

groups known to stay away from voting in public elections: new Canadians and low income persons.

Promote the Vote [added 09/19]

* The website at is updated frequently. From this site people can get linked to election resources, find

out how to vote, be aware of all candidates meetings within the Region of Waterloo and download generic voting promotion print resources. For more information contact Michael at or (519)n570-3976.

* Registered Nurses Association of Ontario

RNAO is urging the people of Ontario to cast their vote for a healthy Ontario in the upcoming provincial election. See their press release at

* Various News Sources

The CBC website has stories, commentary and background at The Toronto Star has an election section with all related stories, polls and more at 388305 or