What do a Conservative, NDP, Liberal and Green candidate have in common? They're all Healthy Candidates


TORONTO, Sept. 13, 2011 /CNW/ - The Heart and Stroke Foundation is launching the Healthy Candidates campaign (www.HealthyCandidates.ca) to encourage all candidates to "go healthy" this election. This means candidates must agree to the Healthy Candidate commitment to have the government invest more to promote and support better health in Ontario.

With the campaign's official launch today, the Heart and Stroke Foundation is pleased to announce that four "Ambassadors" have agreed to sign on and lead the way for their respective political parties. The Ambassadors (in alphabetical order) are Conservative MPP Christine Elliott, NDP MPP France Gélinas, Liberal MPP Eric Hoskins and Green Party candidate Judy Smith Torrie.

Each Ambassador has his or her own personal motivation for signing on and becoming a Healthy Candidate:

"As our party's health critic, I have witnessed first-hand the importance of one's personal investment in their health and wellness," said Christine Elliott. "I would like to commend the Heart and Stroke Foundation for encouraging individuals to take action in this campaign as we transition from an 'illness' to a 'wellness' based healthcare model."

"One of the reasons that motivated me to go into politics was to move health promotion forward. This is a novel and creative way to shine a light on health promotion. Bravo to Heart and Stroke!" said France Gélinas.

Eric Hoskins said, "I am proud to be taking part in the Heart and Stroke Foundation's Healthy Candidates campaign as the candidate for my riding of St. Paul's and as the Liberal Ambassador. As an MD, I understand first-hand the urgency of investing in health promotion to help prevent the onset of chronic disease. This campaign is important because it brings candidates and voters together to live healthier lives and help to build a healthier future for all Ontarians."

"I support this campaign because I grew up in a time when fruits and vegetables came out of a can full of salt," said Judy Smith Torrie. "Now as an adult, I know that a diet rich in fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains may decrease my risk of heart disease by as much as 30 percent. In this fast paced life, I need every good health advantage I can get!"

The Heart and Stroke Foundation is looking to Ontario voters to play an integral role in this campaign by challenging their local candidates to "go healthy" and invest more in making Ontario a healthy place to live. As each candidate signs on, the Heart and Stroke Foundation and its local volunteers will celebrate with a congratulatory package, photo op, media promotion and social media outreach. The campaign is premised on creating a win-win, in which voters get to challenge their candidates to take a specific action and the candidates are celebrated for accepting that challenge.

The campaign is off to a great start and in just a few short days following our online launch last week, more than 80 candidates have gone healthy. Ontarians can visit www.HealthyCandidates.ca to find out if their candidates have gone healthy too.

"Ontario currently spends nearly 50 percent of its budget on health care," says Tom McAllister, Chief Operating Officer, Ontario, Heart and Stroke Foundation. "That number will rise to 80 percent by 2030 if we don't take action now. Eighty percent of premature heart disease and stroke is preventable, so it is possible to reduce the impact of these diseases. With the Healthy Candidates campaign, we've taken a positive and fun election-style approach that brings together voters and candidates to help us achieve a healthier future for Ontario."

There are many ways to engage in and support the campaign. Voters can communicate directly with their local candidates via social media tools, phone or email; candidates can pledge to become Healthy Candidates by going to our website. For additional information, voters and candidates are encouraged to visit www.HealthyCandidates.ca.

Image with caption: "Healthy Candidates Ambassador, Christine Elliott with Nadia Yee and Valerie McIntyre - HSF volunteers, Tyler Moon (CNW Group/Heart and Stroke Foundation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20110913_C2810_PHOTO_EN_3140.jpg

Image with caption: "Healthy Candidates Ambassador, France Gélinas and constituent (CNW Group/Heart and Stroke Foundation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20110913_C2810_PHOTO_EN_3141.jpg

Image with caption: "Healthy Candidates Ambassador, Dr. Eric Hoskins with Jennifer Alami - HSF volunteer, Mark Holland, Nadia Formigoni (CNW Group/Heart and Stroke Foundation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20110913_C2810_PHOTO_EN_3142.jpg

Image with caption: "Healthy Candidates Ambassador, Judy Smith Torrie with HSF volunteer, Lori Van Langen (CNW Group/Heart and Stroke Foundation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20110913_C2810_PHOTO_EN_3144.jpg

SOURCE Heart and Stroke Foundation

For further information:

Our four Ambassadors and a Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson are available today for comment. For more information or assistance scheduling an interview please contact:


Tonya Johnson
Sr. Associate Manager, Media Relations
Heart and Stroke Foundation
Phone: 416-489-7111 ext. 353
Email: tjohnson@hsf.on.ca


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