Topics on this page

Importance of Advocacy

How To Advocate & Advocacy Plan

The Advocacy Steps

Rights In Canada

Where to Go (Division of Power) in Canada

Key Politicians

The Importance of Advocacy

What is advocacy?

Even in a perfect world, where systems work and needs are met, there will always be people whose voices remain unheard and their needs unrecognized. Advocacy is persuading a person with influence, the public, businesses, organizations, or governments, to change attitudes, policies and/or practices about a certain issue.

Why would someone advocate?

Advocacy is based on the principle that each of us has the right to be heard and control how we are treated. Often, getting what we need is simply a matter of knowing where to go for advice or an answer or finding what is available. There are situations when getting what we need requires that we convince someone or defend our rights and challenge a system that is rigid and archaic. In these situations, changes are needed. The way to make these changes is through advocacy. This may mean raising awareness or educating the public.

I have lupus; will advocacy help me?

The unpredictable “flares” of lupus can severely affect many aspects of daily life. As a result, you may often turn to family, friends, the medical system, governments and other services for help. This can sometimes be a frustrating and unsettling experience. Lupus Canada has developed a kit as a support resource to provide you with information, tips and techniques on how to self-advocate for yourself. The goal is to educate you about your rights and how to get what you need.
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We’re Here For You
This is a starting point. While it is important for you to take action yourself, you are not alone. Lupus Canada is your partner in advocacy.

How to Advocate

Where to begin

There are many different ways to advocate. Some people are good on the telephone, while others deal better with difficult situations face-to-face. Some people are more comfortable writing letters. Among an advocate’s best tools are information and having a plan. Through planning, you are more likely to succeed in putting your point across.

Advocacy Plan

Dealing with government, private organizations, services, or agencies is not always easy. To help with your own advocacy, it is good to come up with an advocacy plan. Below are steps to help with your own advocacy plan. Remember: keep details of everything you do and every conversation you have. These notes will come in handy.
Educate Yourself
Your best tool as a person with lupus is to educate yourself about your disease and be able to educate the people around you. Often, your first and best resource will be your doctor. You may want to ask your doctor for a special appointment to discuss your condition in further detail.
When advocating, the more you know, the more intelligently you can advocate. This is your best tool for dealing with government, private organizations, services or agencies.
The Steps to Advocacy
Define the problem, simply and specifically.
Often, the problems or challenges that individuals are advocating to change are complex and multifaceted. By clarifying the problem, you make your argument easier and more time can be used to discuss solutions rather than explaining the problem.
List possible solutions.
It is easiest to advocate for yourself when you are armed with potential solutions. Collaborating and working together with governments and organizations can produce solutions, but this takes time. Often those advocating need changes made quickly. Coming to the table with possible solutions indicates you are ready to work now.
Collect information for each option.
Remember, the more you know, the better you can advocate. By having all the information ready in your arsenal, you can challenge institutions that may not want to help. Often, the government may not see your problem as their problem. By having information at hand, it is easier to persuade people to your cause.
Consider the options and decide.
After listing all your solutions and gathering the relevant information, you may find that one of your solutions is not feasible. This is okay. By having several possible solutions, you can pick the best ones that will help you achieve your goal.
Consider further action.
At this point, you may find some obstacles to your problem. Maybe you need some help from Lupus Canada? Maybe you need to partner with another organization? Remember, there is always help for your advocacy needs. This is the time to find out who to take your problem to. Governments are becoming much more accountable and transparent. If you don’t know where to go, check out a government website. Often, they will have a directory where you can find a chain of command within the government. Unfortunately, for private corporations and services, you may have to call a generic number and be bounced around before you find the appropriate authority for your problem.

Other questions you should answer include:
 

  • What should I say to ensure that I my problem is simple and specific and capture all the relevant information?
  • What is my best argument?
  • Should you request a meeting with the relevant authority?
  • Should you write a letter to an organization?
  • Should I involve a political figure to move this forward?
  • Can Lupus Canada help?
Take Action!
You’ve considered the steps you need to take, now go forth and make it so. It can be daunting to get to this point and go forward. Hit send on that email. Make that call. You are ready to advocate!

Rights In Canada

Canadians have certain inalienable rights ensured by governments.

Certain groups of people, often minorities and those who are considered vulnerable, often have specific rights to ensure equity and equality. These rights, often as a result of advocacy efforts, give power to those who traditionally have not had it. These laws support the right of every person to dignity and respect.

In Canada, jurisdiction over human rights is shared between the federal and provincial governments. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees political and civil rights for Canadians while forbidding discrimination. Provincially created human rights codes provide guarantees for citizens in that province and are often a mechanism to fight human rights complaints. Some provinces have additional legislation for persons who need specific rights. For example, Manitoba’s Accessibility for Manitobans Act, Ontario’s Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act and Nova Scotia’s Act Respecting Accessibility in Nova Scotia give special rights to persons with disabilities.

Internationally, there are codes and treaties to protect the rights of people. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations, set out, for the first time, a set of fundamental human rights that are universally protected.

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rights-canada

Where to Go

Division of Power in Canada

Canada has three levels of government: federal, provincial/territorial and municipal. Each level of government administers a different responsibility, as defined by Canada’s Constitution. Looking for key politicians of interest to reach out and discuss lupus-related issues and concerns with? Search through our list of key politicians below.

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Federal Government
The federal government has responsibility over Canada’s military, foreign affairs, banking, trade and commerce, mail delivery, fisheries, federal taxes, Indigenous lands and rights, as well as criminal law. The federal government also delivers programs to Canadians such as employment insurance, Old Age Security, disability tax credit, the Canada Pension Plan and the Canada Pension Plan – Disability.

The federal government also has a department called Health Canada. While it may seem like a place to go to discuss healthcare related advocacy needs, often this is not the case. Health Canada creates regulations to keep Canadians safe, funds health research and starts the regulatory approval process for food and drugs. Mostly, Health Canada transfers federal money to the provinces for the delivery of health care across the country.

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Provincial Government

The provincial governments have a different responsibility than the federal government. Provincial governments administer education, hospitals and the healthcare system, prisons, marriage, civil and property rights. Provincial governments have the responsibility to oversee your family doctor and rheumatologist.

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Municipal Government
Municipal governments are a body created by the provinces. The provinces, on their own, often offload responsibilities and duties to the municipalities. Each municipality can have different responsibilities. In order to find out what your municipality does, check out their website.
Federal Government – Canada
Minister of Health

Hon. Patty Hajdu
Email: patty.hajdu@canada.ca

Parliamentary Secretary*

Darren Fisher
Email: darren.fisher@parl.gc.ca

Official Opposition Health Critic*

Matt Jeneroux
Email: matt.Jeneroux@parl.gc.ca

Official Opposition Health Deputy Critic*
Robert Kitchen
Email: robert.kitchen@parl.gc.ca
NDP Opposition Health Critic*

Don Davies
Email: don.davies@parl.gc.ca

NDP Opposition Health Deputy Critic

Jenny Kwan
Email: jenny.kwan@parl.gc.ca

Health Committee Chair

Ron McKinnon
Email: ron.mckinnon@parl.gc.ca

Health Committee Member

Luc Theriault
Email: luc.theriault@parl.gc.ca

Health Committee Member

Tamara Jansen
Email: tamara.jansen@parl.gc.ca

Health Committee Member

Mike Kelloway
Email: mike.kelloway@parl.gc.ca

Health Committee Member

Marcus Powlowski
Email: marcus.powlowski@parl.gc.ca

Health Committee Member

Sonia Sidhu
Email: sonia.sidhu@parl.gc.ca

Health Committee Member

Tony Van Bynen
Email: tony.vanbynen@parl.gc.ca

Health Committee Member

Len Webber
Email: len.webber@parl.gc.ca

Provincial & Territorial Governments:
British Columbia
Minister of Health
Hon. Adrian Dix
Email: hlth.minister@gov.bc.ca
Official Opposition Critic
Norm Letnick
Email: norm.letnick.mla@leg.bc.ca
Health Committee Member (Convenor)
Rick Glumac
Email: rick.glumac.mla@leg.bc.ca
Health Committee Member
Linda Larson
Email: linda.larson.mla@leg.bc.ca
Health Committee Member
Donna Barnett
Email: donna.barnett.mla@leg.bc.ca
Health Committee Member
Jagrup Brar
Email: jagrup.brar.mla@leg.bc.ca
Health Committee Member
Dan Davies
Email: dan.davies.mla@leg.bc.ca
Health Committee Member
Sonia Furstenau
Email: sonia.furstenau.mla@leg.bc.ca
Health Committee Member
Ian Paton
Email: ian.paton.mla@leg.bc.ca
Health Committee Member
Janet Routledge
Email: janet.routledge.mla@leg.bc.ca
Health Committee Member
Rachna Singh
Email: rachna.singh.mla@leg.bc.ca
British Columbia
Minister of Health
Hon. Tyler Shandro
Email: health.minister@gov.ab.ca
Official Opposition Critic
Saskatchewan
Minister of Health
Hon. Paul Merriman
Email: he.minister@gov.sk.ca
Minister of Rural and Remote Health
Hon. Warren Kaeding
Email: warrenkaedingmla@sasktel.net
Official Opposition Critic
Human Services Committee Chair
Larry Doke
Email: larrydoke@sasktel.net
Human Services Committee Deputy Chair
Danielle Chartier
Email: saskatoonriversdale@ndpcaucus.sk.ca
Human Services Committee Member
Herb Cox
Email: herbcox@sasktel.net
Human Services Committee Member
Muhammad Fiaz
Email: mfiaz.mla@sasktel.net
Human Services Committee Member
Todd Goudy
Email: goudymla@gmail.com
Human Services Committee Member
Human Services Committee Member
Hon. Nadine Wilson
Email: saskatchewanrivers@sasktel.net
Manitoba
Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living
Hon. Heather Stefanson
Email: minhsal@leg.gov.mb.ca
Official Opposition Critic
Uzoma Asagwara
Email: uzoma.asagwara@leg.gov.mb.ca
Ontario
Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
Hon. Christine Elliott
Email: christine.elliott@pc.ola.org
Parliamentary Secretary (Health)*
Robin Martin
Email: robin.martin@pc.ola.org
Official Opposition Critic
France Gelinas
Email: jfgelinas-qp@ndp.on.org
Ontario Liberal Opposition Critic
Social Policy Committee Chair
Natalia Kusendova
Email: natalia.kusendova@pc.ola.org
Social Policy Committee Vice-Chair
Aris Babikian
Email: aris.babikian@pc.ola.org
Social Policy Committee Member
Jeff Burch
Email: JBurch-QP@ndp.on.ca
Social Policy Committee Member
Amy Fee
Email: amy.fee@pc.ola.org
Social Policy Committee Member
Michael Gravelle
Email: mgravelle.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org
Social Policy Committee Member
Joel Harden
Email: JHarden-QP@ndp.on.ca
Social Policy Committee Member
Mike Harris
Email: mike.harris@pc.ola.org
Social Policy Committee Member
Christine Hogarth
Email: christine.hogarth@pc.ola.org
Social Policy Committee Member
Belinda Karahalios
Email: belinda.karahalios@pc.ola.org
Social Policy Committee Member
Terence Kernaghan
Email: TKernaghan-QP@ndp.on.ca
Quebec
Minister of Health and Social Services
Hon. Christian Dubé
Email: ministre@msss.gouv.qc.ca
Associate Minister of Health and Social Services
Lionel Carmant
Email: ministre.delegue@msss.gouv.qc.ca
Official Opposition Critic*
Andre Fortin
Email: Andre.Fortin.PONT@assnat.qc.ca
Chair, Committee on Health and Social Services Member
Luc Provencal
Email: Luc.Provencal.BENO@assnat.qc.ca
Deputy Chair, Committee on Health and Social Services Member
Helene David
Email: Helene.David.MABO@assnat.qc.ca
Committee on Health and Social Services Chair
Suzanne Blais
Email: Suzanne.Blais.ABOU@assnat.qc.ca
Committee on Health and Social Services Chair
Nancy Guillemette
Email: Nancy.Guillemette.ROBE@assnat.qc.ca
Committee on Health and Social Services Chair
Committee on Health and Social Services Vice-Chair
Isabelle Lecours
Email: Isabelle.Lecours.LOFR@assnat.qc.ca
Committee on Health and Social Services Member
Marilyne Picard
Email: Marilyne.Picard.SOUL@assnat.qc.ca
Committee on Health and Social Services Member
Francois Trembly
Email: Francois.Tremblay.DUBU@assnat.qc.ca
Committee on Health and Social Services Member
Frantz Benjamin
Email: Frantz.Benjamin.VIAU@assnat.qc.ca
Committee on Health and Social Services Member
Enrico Ciccone
Email: Enrico.Ciccone.MARQ@assnat.qc.ca
Committee on Health and Social Services Member
Joel Arseneau
Email: Joel.Arseneau.IDLM@assnat.qc.ca
Committee on Health and Social Services Member
New Brunswick
Minister of Health
Hon. Dorothy Shephard
Email: Dorothy.Shephard@gnb.ca
Official Opposition Critic
JC D’Amours
Email: Jean-Claude.D’Amours@gnb.ca
Nova Scotia
Minister of Health
Hon. Zach Churchill
Email: health.minister@novascotia.ca
Official Opposition Critic
Karla MacFarlane
Email: pictouwestmla@bellaliant.com
Prince Edward Island
Minister of Health
Hon. Ernie Hudson
Email: ehhudsonminister@gov.pe.ca
Official Opposition Critic*
Trish Altass
Email: pdaltassMLA@assembly.pe.ca
Committee on Health and Social Development Chair
Gordon McNeilly
Email: gamcneillyMLA@assembly.pe.ca
Committee on Health Social Development Member
Hannah Bell
Email: hebellmla@assembly.pe.ca
Committee on Health Social Development Member
Hon. Jamie Fox
Email: MinisterFC@gov.pe.ca
Committee on Health Social Development Member
Heath MacDonald
Email: hmacdonaldMLA@assembly.pe.ca
Committee on Health Social Development Member
Hon. Bradley Trivers
Email: MinisterEWCC@gov.pe.ca
Newfoundland and Labrador
Minister of Health
Hon. Dr. John Haggie
Email: johnhaggie@gov.nl.ca
Official Opposition Critic
David Brazil
Email: davidbrazil@gov.nl.ca
Yukon
Minister of Health
Hon. Pauline Frost
Email: pauline.frost@gov.yk.ca
Northwest Territories
Minister of Health
Hon. Julie Green
Email: Julie_green@gov.nt.ca
Nunavut
Minister of Health
Hon. Lorne Kusugak
Email: lkusugak@gov.nu.ca

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Advocacy & Support

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