Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is one of the leading developmental disabilities in Canada, impacting more people that autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome combined.
People with FASD can succeed with the appropriate supports and services.
Ask your candidates how they are taking action on FASD.
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.
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.
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 take action on FASD.
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.
Politicians are very busy. Keep your statements short and to the point.
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
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 and work best in a one-on-one conversation or letter.
Questions for Candidates
Here are some possible questions you can ask your local political candidates.
- What will you/your party do to address FASD 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 in your province?
- If your party forms the next government, how will you encourage provincial 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?
Talking About FASD
Remember that talking about FASD can be difficult, and sometimes what we say can do more harm than good. We need to make sure that the language we use is accurate and respectful, and the information we share is up to date with the latest research findings. We’ve developed some media guides to help you best talk about FASD.