Ottawa, Ontario – Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner, along with Ottawa candidates, announced the party’s plans to invest in health promotion and illness prevention.
“It costs much less to keep people healthy than to treat illness,” said Schriener. “We need to refocus our system to concentrate on true health care, not just sick care.”
Currently, the health care budget accounts for nearly half of the provincial budget. If current trends continue, it will eat up 80% of the budget by 2030. Ontario only spends $7 per person on health promotion and illness prevention. In comparison, British Columbia spends $21 per person, and Québec spends $16 per person.
The Green Party plan will refocus the health care system on programs that will prevent illness in the first place while improving access and quality to care.
“Ontario needs political leadership to connect the dots between access to healthy local sustainable food and the sustainability of our health care system,” added Schreiner. “For this reason, the Green Party is calling for an Ontario Food and Farming Strategy to improve access to healthy local food for all Ontarians.”
This week the Green Leader became the first party leader to sign the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Healthy Candidate pledge. Members of the foundation were on hand at today’s press event to thank Schreiner and the Green Party for their support.
“I’m pleased to sign the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Healthy Candidates pledge. Whether it is eating healthy local food, hiking in the gorgeous Niagara Escarpment or riding my bike with my family I find living a healthy lifestyle rewarding,” remarked Schreiner “I commend your important work in this area and look forward to working together to build a healthier Ontario for generations to come.”
Green MPPs will:
- Use powers of zoning and transportation planning to design communities that are safe and convenient for walking and cycling to school, work, shopping, entertainment, etc.
- Revise Ontario’s growth plans to support more balanced population and job growth around the province and eliminate the population quotas that impose unsustainable and unaffordable growth on some municipalities.
- Create a $200 million fund for active transportation and complete streets initiatives,
- Invest $400 million in tax credits over four years for affordable commuter benefits that support ride sharing and car-pooling, flexible work, and a refundable provincial tax credit for transit users.
- Promote education regarding healthier lifestyles, including ensuring physical education is part of the curriculum for all children.
- Invest $200 million over four years for a healthy school food program, and set purchasing targets for local sustainable food in public institutions.
- Invest $200 million over four years for a good food program that invests in community food programs that promote access to healthy food, community gardens, cooking and nutrition classes.
- Provide $200 million over four years in healthy living tax credits for children and adult recreation programs.
For more information on the Green Party’s health plan, see www.itstimeforgreen.ca/health