Federal Election 2021

After much anticipation, a federal election is now underway in Canada. Children are not allowed to vote but they will be affected by the results of the election. Everyone can speak up to ensure that children’s policies are part of the public discussion this fall. In many ways, this election is timely because Canada is currently undergoing the 5th/6th Review by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. In addition, this is the 30th anniversary of the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Children in Canada. Children fare better in countries where the Convention is implemented, and where these reviews are productive. Canada lags behind other countries in many areas of children’s rights.

Some issues that the CCRC will be following during the campaign include:
– The implementation of the TRC Calls to Action, specifically those related to child welfare, corporal punishment, and education. These are all rooted in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The MMIWG report specifically calls for these to be implemented now.
– Equitable access to affordable early childhood programs and care: Early childhood is a critical. period for developing the full potential of children, which should be at the center of public policy. Canada spends less on early childhood than other countries. Investing in equitable access to high quality child development programs during the early years will benefit families, communities, and Canada’s economy.
Early Voting Age: Section 3 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is clear that all Canadian citizens are allowed to vote; however, the Canada Elections Act only permits citizens 18 and over the right to vote. The CCRC, alongside JFCY and the Asper Centre and others, is working with child rights organizations and young people to argue that the minimum age requirement is unconstitutional.

Check here for what our partners and members are calling for in the federal election 2021. Let us know if you want your partner organization’s website listed here (news@rightsofchildren.ca).

  • First Nations Caring Society: Spirit Bear Plan – End Inequalities in Public Services for First Nations Children, Youth and Families
    • First Nations children and families living on reserve and in the Territories receive public services funded by the federal government. Since confederation, these services have fallen significantly short of what other Canadians receive. This injustice needs to end and Spirit Bear’s Plan will do just that.
  • UNICEF: #voteforeverychild – Children and Youth Must be Heard in the Election
    • 8 million Canadians – children and youth under age 18 – do not have a vote in the federal election and cannot hold the government accountable for the post-pandemic recovery. Children around the world will also be affected by the outcome of the Canadian federal election. They need bold Canadian leadership to champion the rights of the most marginalized children to be healthy, educated, protected and empowered. #VoteforEveryChild gives you the info you need to make the most of your vote on election day: by using your ballot to make the world a better place for kids in Canada and around the world.
  • Children First Canada: Vote for the Future
    • It’s Time to Vote For Our Future – For more than a decade, the quality of life for kids in Canada has been steadily declining, and the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly diminished children’s mental and physical health. The future of Canada depends on the strength of children and youth. Investing in children means a stronger, better, Canada.
  • Child Care Now:
    • Creating more non-standard reliable child care will rely on building a comprehensive publicly funded and managed system of regulated early learning and child care
  • Save the Children Canada:
    • Developed a toolkit for the upcoming election on ways to champion for children:
    • “It’s easy to be a champion for children’s rights! We have created an Election Toolkit to give you everything you need to become a powerful advocate for change. You will learn how to research a candidate’s policy position, attend a debate, and be ready if a candidate knocks on your door. We cover all the bases so that you can feel confident in engaging in what can sometimes feel like an intimidating political process.”
    • Found here: https://www.savethechildren.ca/lets-put-childrens-rights-on-the-political-agenda/ 
  • Children’s Healthcare Canada:
    • This federal election presents an opportunity for all party leaders to commit to bold and brave leadership on behalf of Canada’s eight million children and youth. While health service delivery is a provincial responsibility, national leadership is required to address complex, longstanding challenges in our healthcare systems. Now is the time for federal leaders to commit to working with provinces and territories to apply a pan-Canadian lens that balances the needs and nuances of regional contexts with the need for greater equality, consistency in standards and access to care, no matter where a child lives. Our children and youth must be a non-partisan priority and central to every recovery policy plan, at all levels of government. Whether Canadians cast a vote to “Build Back Better,” for “Ready for Better” or to “Secure the Future,” investing in our nation’s long-term socioeconomic health and security requires investing in and prioritizing child and youth recovery.
    • Found here: https://www.childrenshealthcarecanada.ca/election-44