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A Conversation
on Prevention

Advocacy, Cosmetic Pesticides, Provincial Election, Smoking, Tobacco, February 27th, 2013

Cancer Prevention: Our Focus this Election

The election buzz is growing with less than three months before British Columbians go to the polls.   

One issue affects nearly every voter in British Columbia— and that’s cancer. We’ve all been touched in one way or another. Two in five Canadians are diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and that’s why it makes sense to bring attention to policies that would help to ease the burden of cancer in our lives. 

At the Canadian Cancer Society BC and Yukon we believe that cancer prevention should be an election priority for BC’s political parties. About half of all cancers can be prevented and if we can start to chip away at this big number, then we can make BC an even better and healthier place to be. 

One way to prevent cancer is to encourage people to change their behavior through education. We’ve all seen and heard healthy reminders to get regular exercise, eat plenty of veggies and steer clear of tobacco. Just changing one thing in a person’s lifestyle can have an important impact on his or her health. At the Society we recognize that we can take cancer prevention a step further through healthy policies that reduce the risk of cancer for an entire population. What a big impact that can make! 

 

Megan Sidhu is a Canadian Cancer Society volunteer from Surrey. This provincial election she is advocating for an investment in cancer prevention.  

Leading up to election day, we’ll be asking all political parties to support an investment in cancer prevention by reducing our exposure to harmful substances that are linked to cancer, namely cosmetic pesticides and second-hand smoke. 

We’d like to see strong cosmetic pesticide legislation that bans the use of pesticides for non-essential purposes, like the beautification of lawns and gardens. We know that we can still keep lawns and gardens beautiful using safe alternatives so it only makes sense to reduce our exposure to pesticides where we know they aren’t necessary.

Smoking regulations have come a long way in BC and we can keep the momentum going by advocating for smoke-free outdoor places which would allow everyone, especially children, to enjoy outdoor public places (patios, parks, beaces, and playgrounds) without facing the risks of second-hand smoke. It can also go a long way to help smokers quit and to provide fewer opportunities for would-be smokers to pick up the habit.  

This provincial election is a chance for us to show the BC Government that cancer touches us all and that we can do more to stop cancer before it starts. 

Leading up to May 14, the Society and our many volunteers, including Megan, will reach out to our communities and political parties, encouraging everyone to make cancer prevention an issue. Visit cancergameplan.ca to get involved and to learn more about our provincial election priorities.


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