It’s time for a National FASD Strategy.
The writ has dropped and the next Federal Election is scheduled for September 20, 2021. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an issue that should be on everyone’s radar. We are trying to get support for FASD by asking federal candidates to develop a National FASD Strategy.
We need your help to get FASD on the Government of Canada’s radar
and get support for a National FASD Strategy.
Talk to your candidates about FASD
Connect with them
Visit the political party’s official webpage to find the candidate for your riding and their contact information. You may be able to connect with them at virtual town hall meetings and events, or via phone, email, social media, or regular mail.
Identify you are a voter
Politicians are much more likely to take the time to listen to you if they know that you are a voter. Be sure to identify yourself as a constituent in their riding.
Asking for your candidate to support a National FASD Strategy is better than just asking them for “help” or “support”. They won’t be able to effectively help us if we don’t tell them how.
Stick to one thing
We’re asking the federal government for a National FASD Strategy. We know that people with FASD and their families need so many different supports depending on where they are at in their lives. But we want federal candidates to have a clear away forward. We’re asking for a National FASD Strategy in order to get all of Canada on the same page about FASD. Once a strategy is in place, we will have more momentum and funding to start to address specific concerns, like lack of supports or long wait times for diagnosis.
Politicians are very busy. Keep your statements short and to the point.
Stick to the truth
Do not lie or exaggerate when talking to candidates. It can make you and the cause you are supporting seem less credible. Try backing up your statements with facts like:
- FASD affects 1 in 25 Canadians, more than autism, cerebral palsy, and Down’s Syndrome combined
- FASD costs Canada approximately $9.7 billion every year
- Early diagnosis and intervention supports can help support positive outcomes for people with FASD and their families
Make it personal
Explain why this issue is important to you. Do you have FASD or are you a caregiver for someone with FASD? Do you work with people with FASD in your job on a daily basis? Personal details make your message stand out but be sure not to get too off track from what you’re asking for. Personal details work best in a one-on-one conversation or letter.
How to reach your candidates
Find out who your candidates are
The first step is to find our who is representing your area. You can find this information on the Elections Canada website.
Speak with them directly
You can reach out to your local candidate via phone, email, social media, or handwritten letter. Many parties will have their candidate’s contact information on their party website.
Connect at political events
Many candidates will be attending local townhall meetings and events. Most events will likely be virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Local newspapers and the websites and social media channels of candidates/parties will often have information about where and when candidates will be speaking.
Take advantage of canvasing
Before the pandemic, many candidates and volunteers for their parties would go door-to-door to campaign for your vote. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, we likely won’t see much door-to-door campaigning this year, but candidates may still try to connect by calling you. When they call, ask questions about how they plan to address FASD and express your support for a National FASD Strategy.
Questions for candidates
Here are some potential questions to ask federal candidates about FASD:
- What will you/your party do to address FASD in Canada?
- The Federal government has previously funded the development of a National Autism Strategy. FASD is 2.5 times more common than Autism. Will you support the development of a National FASD Strategy in Canada?
- Is supporting people with FASD and their families part of your party’s platform?
- Will your party support the Canada FASD Research Network in their work to generate evidence to inform policy and improve outcomes for individuals and families with FASD?
- If your party forms the next government, how will you encourage federal ministries, including health, education, justice, corrections, and social services, to work together to address the complexities of FASD?
- With alcohol consumption and mental health challenges in women increasing due to COVID-19, how do you plan to address the potential for increased alcohol-exposed pregnancies and future cases of FASD?
- How is your party increasing awareness of the harms of alcohol, including FASD?