Lobbying is when groups or individuals bring issues and concerns directly to their government. This would involve speaking with MPPs (elected public officers) in their local riding, to party leaders and health critics, with regard to developing or changing government policy. The Lobbying Act states there should be “free and open access to government is an important matter of public interest”. This communication is an opportunity to advocate or influence politicians to positively affect change in policy.
What is a Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP)? These are individuals belong to one of the major political parties in Canada (NDP, PC, Liberals, Green Party, or independents with ny party affiliation). They are elected by the residents in their riding (electoral district of Canada). MPPs meet with residents of their riding to listen to concerns, resolve issues related to provincial government, and attend community events.
Organization of Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long Term Care
What will meeting with an MPP do? MPPs are legislators, which means they will attend meetings at the Legislative Assembly (Parliament) and participate in the debating and development of laws. Physician Assistants can meet with their MPPs face to face (whether on one-on-one meetings that you can arrange by contacting the MPP’s office) or attend Lobby Days that are arranged by CAPA (Canadian Association of Physician Assistants). MPPs will be aware of issues facing PA profession and can bring issues of regulation and funding to the table during meetings at the Ontario Legislative Assembly.
What does the Minister of Health do? Dr. Eric Hoskins is the Minister of Health and Long Term Care in Ontario at present. This means delivery of the Ontario Drug Benefit Program, Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), Long Term Care, Home Care, Community and Public Health, and Health Force Ontario to name a few. The Ministry also regulates emergency health services, nursing homes, hospitals, and medical laboratories.
Ontario Physician Assistants including myself, my supervising physician Dr. Benjamin Smith, Deniece O’Leary Ontario PA Chapter President, Sahand Ensafi incoming Ontario PA VP, and Patrick Nelson, executive director of CAPA posing with Dr. Eric Hoskins at PA Awareness Reception on Sept 13, 2017.
What are NDP and PC Health Critics? Had the NDP or PC party won the election, their “Health Critic” would have been the Minister of Health and Long Term Care.
- The NDP Health Critic is France Gelinas
- The PC Health Critic is Jeff Yurek
NDP Health Critic France Gelinas (@NickelBelt) speaking with Ontario Chapter President Deniece O’Leary, and Ontario VP Sahand Ensafi about integrating PAs into the Ontario Health Care System.