CAS AND THE 2021 ELECTION
CAS is also happy to provide questions to guide Canada’s HIV organizations and allies on how to engage Canadian political parties on their role in ending HIV in Canada. We have written directly to the parties, you will find our letters and answers and commitments here. We are also in the process of producing a joint press release addressing themes for the parties to address in the 2021 election in collaboration with the Ontario AIDS Network, the Coalition des organismes communautaires québécois de lutte contre le sida (COCQ-sida), the Pacific AIDS Network (PAN) and the HIV Legal Network , these themes can be used as a basis for your questions to local candidates when we publish it in the next week or so.
Here are the three questions that we have asked the parties:
As we approach an important federal election, will you commit to:
1) Increasing the funding allocated for addressing HIV in Canada to $100 million as recommended by The Standing Committee on Health,
2) Incrementally increasing funding for all other STBBI, and
3) Support a mission-based funding model to support charities and non-profit organizations continue the important work that they do?
As you know, we are in the midst of a federal election that will conclude with voters making their choices on Monday, September 20, 2021. This is a crucial election and we have an opportunity to let all candidates, parties and voters know that the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Canada still requires a strong federal government response, and to seek their commitments to supporting the fight against HIV/AIDS in our community. We also require a strong government response to address criminalization, ensure a safe drug supply and meet commitments to harm reduction. So far, it seems to be a close election with no obvious outcome. This is the perfect opportunity to persuade the candidates and parties who need every vote.
Over 70,000 individuals are currently living with HIV in Canada, a quarter of whom are unaware of their HIV status. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men; people who use injection drugs; Indigenous peoples and Black Canadians are all overrepresented in these numbers and form disproportionately large percentages of our HIV-positive population, it is time to bring effective changes to how we are going to end HIV in Canada.
Since the last election was less than two years ago, we suggest that you look at our 2019 election package for further guidance and the OAN has developed a new section here for 2021.
Please ensure that you are following the rules for charities & nonprofits, here is a link to Imagine Canada’s publication from August to guide you here .