Parkinson Canada Shows Parliamentarians What’s Still Possible

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Everyone’s experience with Parkinson’s disease is unique. However, one thing they all share is that everyone who lives with this disease faces barriers and challenges. While it’s still possible for people with Parkinson’s to live life on their terms, some of the barriers that most affect them can include financial barriers to accessing medicine, challenges in navigating an often-disjointed healthcare system, or the barriers that come with obtaining adequate care at home. These barriers can be reduced or eliminated with the proper government support, ensuring that people who live with Parkinson’s can truly thrive. Addressing these barriers is precisely why Parkinson Canada is engaging with federal leaders this fall.  

Parkinson Canada’s advocacy team works hard to ensure that our political leaders in Ottawa, and in all provincial and territorial capitals, are aware of the challenges and concerns of the Parkinson community. Although the federal government does not deliver healthcare (that is up to the provinces and territories), it can provide the financial support needed to deliver high quality care and encourage the provinces and territories to improve access to medicine and specialists. As such, Parkinson Canada has submitted the following recommendations to the federal Finance Committee’s pre-budget consultation: 

  1. Address eligibility issues with the Disability Tax Credit. 
  2. Ensure that the details of the Canada Disability Benefit include the voices of those who are living with disability so that it provides meaningful financial support. 
  3. Implement the Canada Pharmacare Act with a focus on affordable and equitable access to medicines. 
  4. Find solutions that ensure Canadians have access to the best medicines available and work to close the gap left by discontinued medicines.  
  5. Work with the provinces and territories to ensure that more Parkinson’s specialists are trained and enter practice to support those with the disease and reduce wait times. 

You can find our full submission with additional information and research here. 

These are the policy ideas that we’ve heard about the most from our community. That’s why we’re excited to not only submit these policy recommendations to the Finance Committee, but also to be advocating for them during our Hill Day in Ottawa on October 24. We’ll be meeting with Members of Parliament (MPs) from across the political spectrum to share the perspective of the Parkinson’s community and outline how these policy ideas would improve the lives of the more than 100,000 Canadians living with Parkinson’s.  

Our advocacy team, along with members with lived experience of Parkinson’s, are eager to share the perspective of our community with MPs. This kind of advocacy is an incredibly important part of what we do. By meeting with federal leaders directly and having them listen to people impacted by Parkinson’s, we’re providing them with insights and urgency when thinking about the policies to prioritize. By going to Ottawa, we’re ensuring that the voices behind Parkinson’s are heard. Join our efforts and add your voice to the conversation by checking out our Social Media Action Kit here.

Our message to the federal government is clear: by reducing financial stress and closing the gaps in accessibility that people living with Parkinson’s face, our community will thrive. This is the message we have been hearing from people like you, our valued community members. We are ready to take your message to Ottawa. Parkinson’s impacts us all a little differently, but together we can ensure that living well with Parkinson’s is still possible