Now more than ever it is important to know the issues that matter to you before you cast your ballot on Thursday, June 2nd , 2022.  

ALS Canada reached out to each major political party to get more details about how they, if elected, would support access to therapies for the Canadian ALS community. We asked them how they would accelerate access to approved therapies and whether they would involve the ALS community in a meaningful way at critical decision-making tables. 

As Ontarians go to the poll on June 2nd, we hope this blog post provides you with more information on how different provincial parties’ policies will affect people and families living with ALS. 

Below are the questions the parties received from ALS Canada. ALS Canada gave each party until May 18th to share their responses with the ALS community. 

This blog post will be updated as we receive responses.  


QUESTIONS:

QUESTION ONE:

The existing pathway for drug access is too long for a person living with ALS and other terminal illnesses.

  • What is your party’s position on improving how Ontarians access new drugs?

QUESTION TWO:

In consultation with the broader Canadian ALS community, ALS Canada released a Position Paper – The Time is Now that offers two solutions to getting Health Canada-approved therapies to Canadians living with ALS in a timeframe that more accurately reflects the urgent needs of this community. Will you and your party support the following two priorities, and if so, please explain how: 

  • Your party will work with the ALS community to build a plan that would see Ontario implementing these two solutions and championing the need for quicker reimbursement within all provinces? 
  • Your party will work with your counterparts in the federal government to make sure the total time associated with approving and reimbursing ALS therapies takes no longer than 18 months? 

PARTY RESPONSES:

Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario

From day one, our government, under the leadership of Premier Ford, has been committed to ending
hallway healthcare and making real investments to fix our province’s broken healthcare system. We
increased healthcare spending from $59.3 billion in 2019-2020 to $64.1 billion in 2021-22 and through
Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy, we invested an additional $1.8
billion for the hospital sector. This includes $778 to hospitals which will provide each hospital with
increases to their operating budgets and $300 million to support hospitals in reducing surgical and
diagnostic imaging backlogs from delayed or cancelled surgeries and help reduce wait time.
Since the Fall of 2020, our government has invested more than half a billion dollars to enable the
delivery of more surgeries, MRI and CT scans and procedures for Ontarians. Our recent budget, Ontario’s
Plan to Build, further outlines our plan, if re-elected, to increase capacity and build a strong, resilient
healthcare system across the province. This includes an investment of more than $40 billion over the
next 10 years in hospital infrastructure, including about $27 billion in capital grants. This investment will
help address demands for health care services and support essential improvements and expansions to
emergency rooms, surgical facilities, and patient spaces across the province.

Our Progressive Conservative government has invested more in healthcare than any government in
Ontario’s history and our plan to build a more modern and connected healthcare system includes
improving access to a faster and better coordinated health care system. That is why we have focused
existing drug benefits programs on Ontarians who don’t have coverage and ensured that Ontarians
under 25, who don’t have access to private health insurance plans, are eligible for OHIP+. In government,
we also followed through on our promise to provide high-quality routine dental care to low income
seniors and took action to make rare disease drugs cheaper for the Ontarians that need them.
We are committed to providing access to the best, specialized, most effective care and treatment for
those who need it, when they need it. If re-elected, the Ontario Progressive Conservative’s will continue
to work with key stakeholders, experts and federal, provincial and territorial partners to identify
additional initiatives to achieve long‐term sustainability of public drug programs.

Our party is proud of our record over the last four years getting things done and we will continue to say
YES to getting shovels in the ground and make long term investments in our healthcare system to ensure
Ontario families have a health care system they can rely on.

Read a PDF version of the Progressive Conservative Party’s response.

Read the Progressive Conservative Party’s full platform.

Ontario New Democratic Party

No response received yet.

Read the Ontario New Democratic Party’s full platform.

Ontario Liberal Party

No response received yet.

Read the Ontario Liberal Party’s full platform.

Green Party of Ontario

Question 1:
Ontario Greens understand the quickly shifting nature of ALS and the need to access treatments in a
timely manner. We believe that it’s important that everybody has access to the treatment they need and
deserve. Ontario Greens will partner with the federal government to implement a universal pharmacare
program. As an interim measure, we will publicly fund rare disease medications. In addition, we will
simplify the system for accessing life-altering treatments that are available to make them less arduous
and more timely.

Question 2:
If elected, Ontario Greens would work with the ALS community to build a plan that ensures all ALS
treatments, upon approval by Health Canada, be publicly funded on an interim basis.

Ontario Greens understand that one of the devastating impacts of ALS is the rapidity of its progression,
and that our system is currently overly cumbersome and slow to meet the needs faced by the ALS
community. If elected, we will work with the federal government to make sure all ALS treatments are
approved, reviewed for public reimbursement and publicly funded through a single expedited time
frame. We will also work to simplify the process for receiving treatments that are essential for those
faced with this illness. Our plan will also Improve integration and connectivity across healthcare service
providers through the use of digital data sharing and patient health coordinators to be more supportive
of patients with complex care needs, such as those with ALS. We will also increase base funding for
home care by 10% and increase PSW salaries to a minimum of $25 an hour to improve quality access at
home.

Read a PDF version of the Green Party’s response.

Read the Green Party’s full platform.

Posted in: Advocacy