Canada has been built on a variety of cultures, religions, and ethnic backgrounds.
One of the global Green Party values is Respect for Diversity, another
Participatory Democracy; we strive to progress our culture with an inclusive
attitude of solidarity.
It only makes sense that a well-educated population, thriving from a sense of
wellness, is beneficial to our society and economy. Our social safety nets can
modernize along with technology, including a Guaranteed Livable Income (GLI).
We are strongest when we support the most vulnerable among us.
The most important resource of a country is its people. To reach their full potential,
citizens need an environment where they can grow, mature and innovate within
safe, healthy, and secure communities. We have much work to do for truth and
reconciliation so all can heal for the next phase of our human evolution, together.
Mental Health: Greens subscribe to the World Health Organization’s definition of
health as “a complete state of physical, mental, and social well-being and not
merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Our present health care system
addresses only one dimension – the treatment of disease and/or trauma by qualified
professionals in publicly-funded medical facilities.
Greens applaud the creation in 2007 of the Mental Health Commission of Canada
(MHCC). The MHCC has estimated that mental illness costs the Canadian
economy $50 billion per year. We support the call from the Canadian Alliance ofStudent Associations that the MHCC’s mandate be extended for another ten years
(2015-2025) and to ensure a focus on the mental health of youth.
VISION LINK https://www.greenparty.ca/en/statement/2017-05-03/mental-health-
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”– Benjamin Franklin
Prevention and health promotion save lives and money.
A significant proportion of illnesses and deaths in this country are preventable.
Many Canadians do not have the necessary information, tools, or the
encouragement to lead healthier lives. Much needless suffering, premature loss of
life, and considerable healthcare costs can be avoided through improved lifestyles
(nutrition, exercise, and smoking cessation), dental care, health research, screening
programs, more timely diagnosis, earlier treatment, healthier public policies and
environments. For example, it is estimated that at least 50% of cancers are
Yet funding allocated for health promotion has fluctuated in the vicinity of 1% of
overall health system funding, despite the demonstrated cost-effectiveness of many
disease prevention and health promotion programs.
Health promotion is about more than health care or health education. It is about
recognizing the profound health impacts of determinants of health outside the
formal healthcare system and working with many stakeholders (policy-makers,
NGOs, health agencies, multiple levels of government, the private sector, and most
important, affected communities themselves) to reduce, eliminate, or overcome
those factors that harm health or act as barriers to health enhancement. We must
promote factors which enhance the health, well-being, and quality of life of all
The number one determinant of health is poverty. Ending poverty is not only a
moral imperative, it will reduce burdens on our health care system.
The Green Party of Canada recognizes the value of good health as a fundamental
human right, and also the key to the most vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable
Canadian society possible.
Greens want to move Canada towards being the world’s healthiest country by
making improved and sustainable health for all a national priority.
To make this vision a reality will require a long journey, a comprehensive effort
touching many aspects of Canadian society. In the short term, we recommend the following actions to begin this journey. These recommendations can have an
immediate, positive, and measurable impact on Canadian’s health, and turn us
away from a health system focused on disease treatment to one where disease
prevention and good health promotion are the priority.
Green Party MPs will:
● Push for renewed Canadian leadership in health promotion both nationally
and on the international stage. We have some of the best minds, training
programs, experienced practitioners, and progressive health promotion
coalitions in the world. These can be key building blocks in a renewed
federal leadership in health promotion;
● Specifically, we recommend the following actions to take place
- Restore funding for the Canadian Health Network, a key national resource for
individuals and health professionals across the country;
- Create a Federal Healthy Community Initiatives Fund to which community
organizations can apply for innovative local projects utilizing community
development principles and practices to address both human and ecosystem
health at the local level;
- Protect children from inappropriate exposure to marketing, especially of junk
foods and soft drinks (see development of a National Food Policy below, and
as in Agriculture and Food policy in section 1.15);
- Create a Canadian Healthy Living Guide, similar to the recently revised
Canada’s Food Guide but more comprehensive in scope;
- Work with provincial stakeholders to better compensate family physicians
and other health professionals for health education and health promotion
services work with key stakeholders such as the Chronic Disease Prevention
Alliance of Canada (CDPAC), the Canadian Lung Association, Canadian
Diabetes Foundation, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and others to promote
integrated, innovative, evidence-based, inter-sectoral, and comprehensive
approaches to disease prevention and health promotion;
- Institute a GST Health Benefit Exemption for those products/services deemed
to have significant health benefit such as sports equipment, fitness centre
fees, and some health-promoting health services;
- Institute a Corporate Health Tax Reduction for workplaces that institute a
qualified workplace health model or comprehensive healthy workplace
settings approach such as that offered by the National Quality Institute;
- Work to reduce the use of pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics, and other
chemical and pharmaceutical agents in agriculture;
- Seek a Canadian ban on all forms and applications of Genetic Use Restriction
Technologies through legislation;
- Promote environmentally sustainable, organic farming practices that protect
the health of the land, farmers, and consumers;
- Restore funding for critical food safety testing and new product approvals
- Institute a National Junk Food Tax for non-essential, empty calorie foods and
beverages including high-fat, high-sugar, and high-salt snack foods;
- Support the development and adoption of a comprehensive national set of
protective helmet standards for different sport and vehicle use and the
allocation of federal funding for a national education program to encourage
protective helmet use;
- Develop a federal Health Impact Assessment Board to incorporate health
impact assessment as part of all federal government policy reviews, similar to
the current Environmental Assessment Board;
- Support the development of initiatives to reduce the use of psychoactive
drugs through better rehabilitation and prevention programs, especially for
- Restructure education of health care professionals to incorporate adequate
training in health promotion;
- Provide computerized health promotion aids and make them accessible freely
to all Canadians;
- Expand healthcare coverage to include basic preventive dental care;
- Establish a minimum budget for health promotion at 1.5% of the total federal
In order to keep health care spending from continuing to skyrocket,
we must find a way to control the cost of drugs. Currently, 20% of our health care
budget is spent on pharmaceuticals – and this is the area of health care in which
costs are rising most quickly.
Pharmaceutical use must be more rigorously assessed on an evidence-based
approach. Used as directed, it is estimated that prescription drug use leads to
150,000 deaths every year in North America. Health Canada has not performed
adequately in assessing risks. Canada still lacks any requirement for mandatory
reporting of side-effects from prescribed drugs. Far too often, conflict of interest in
the relationship between those who advise government agencies, and even
physicians who accept trips and promotions from the pharmaceutical industry, can
influence decisions. There are two and a half drug sales representatives for every
physician in Canada.
Getting a handle on the use of prescription drugs can both save lives and cut costs.
The best way to accomplish both life-saving and cost-cutting goals is through a
universal Pharmacare program, a bulk drug purchasing agency, and make new drug
patent protection times shorter. This national agency would follow the principles of
the gold-standard for evidence-based assessment of the risks and benefits of
pharmaceuticals – the Therapeutics Initiative at University of British Columbia. It
is critical that no conflict of interest corrupt the drug assessment process. Drugs
showing a greater harmful than beneficial effect will not be part of a national
Pharmacare program. The Therapeutic Initiative (TI) approach identified Vioxx as
such a drug, when Health Canada missed the risks. It is estimated that the TI
assessment, and the willingness of the British Columbia Health Department to
accept that advice, saved 500 lives in B.C. Advice to physicians from TI saved the
provincial health care system approximately $700 million/year. These kinds of
savings – in lives and health care costs – must be pursued across Canada.
By bulk buying prescription drugs, based on a strong evidence-based assessment,
costs will come down for the provincial delivery of health care.
As well, we used to have a successful generic drug market in Canada, but changes
to the patent laws have almost wiped it out. As patents for a number of commonly
prescribed drugs are set to expire in the near future, this presents a great
opportunity for the government to step in and provide less expensive generic drugs.
The Green Party accepts the principle advocated by the Canadian Diabetes
Association that no Canadian should spend more than 3% of his or her total after
tax earnings on necessary prescribed medications and other treatments.
Adopt Real Justice, Truth & Reconciliation.
The Green Party of Canada affirms
that all First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities have the right to determine
their own membership, govern according to traditional governance structures, hold
sovereignty over their traditional territories, practice their cultures and traditions,
speak, retain, and reclaim their languages, and fully participate in guiding and
directing any and all legal and policy decisions regarding their livelihoods. The
Greens further affirm that Indigenous peoples have a right to access sufficient
high-quality and culturally appropriate education, healthcare, employment, and
other services to achieve a healthy standard of living. Therefore, in accordance with the recommendations made within the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP), the Green Party of Canada will
support First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples in rebuilding, self-defining and self-
identifying their own citizenship. We will support Indigenous peoples and follow
their lead as they implement their own strategies for rebuilding Indigenous nations
and measures to reclaim Indigenous nationhood. We will support measures to
promote cultural revitalization and healing processes. We will support Indigenous
peoples in building consensus on the basic composition of their Indigenous nation
and its political structures and processes undertaken by individual communities
and by groups of communities that may share Indigenous nationhood.
Indigenous justice also requires eliminating the vestiges of oppression and
colonialism. Greens are committed to end the provisions of the Indian Act. This
monumental task requires us to work in full partnership with First Nations.
Eleanor Hayward recognizes the challenge of balancing the present moment with
We must stop placing a debt on future generations opportunities for a peaceful and
healthy life, as we have been taking more from our planet than it can give us.
If we make the analogy or our ecological system to our economic system: What are
we doing? In an economic system we strive not to draw down our capital, and
continually build our reserve, living off the interest as much as we can. Compare
this to what we are doing in our ecological systems – we are drawing down out
ecological reserves and eating far into its capital – this has to stop.
Tired/Bored of the Ping Pong Politics? Vote PEOPLE PLANET PROSPERITY!