Prince Edward Island 2015 Election Campaign

The Canadian Cancer Survivor Network is once again asking questions of the parties and candidates during the Prince Edward Island election campaign; their responses can be found in this section.

We hope that this information will help you when you direct your concerns to your provincial representatives.

To become involved in CCSN’s political advocacy campaigns, please contact


Over 191,300 Canadians are diagnosed with cancer every year, including 900 people in Prince Edward Island. Approximately 370 Islanders die of cancer each year. Clearly, this life-threatening illness affects entire communities, especially families, friends and co-workers.

The government of Prince Edward Island has an important role to play in making sure that everyone diagnosed with cancer has timely access to cancer care and essential medical services as well as access to emergency rooms and the treatment and medications they need.

We invite political parties and/or candidates to respond to the following questions related to cancer care and healthcare in Prince Edward Island. Responses will be circulated to cancer patients and survivors in Prince Edward Island, included on our website,, and posted on our social media.

1. The Canadian Medical Association Journal published research in 2012 that showed one in ten Canadians report they skip doses or decide not to fill prescriptions because of cost, with the second highest incidence of cost non adherence happening in the Atlantic Provinces.[1] If elected to government, what will your party do to make prescription medications more affordable?

2. A key element of ensuring timely treatment for a cancer patient is ensuring they have access to the medications they need at the time they need them. Unfortunately, this is not always the case in Prince Edward Island. If elected to government, will you:

a)      Commit to ensuring that all cancer patients in Prince Edward Island receive timely access to medications at the time they need it?

b)      Undertake negotiations leading to regional collaboration to ensure timely patient access to cancer drugs?

3. Many Islanders are concerned about the link between cancer and pesticide use in the agricultural industry. If elected to government, what will your party do to address this issue?

We thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Yours sincerely,

Jackie Manthorne
President and Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Cancer Survivor Network


Question 1 response:

It is shameful that in a country as wealthy as Canada that some people are forced to forego prescribed medications due to cost. More effective delivery of pharmaceuticals within the Province will be the first step for the Green Party in addressing this issue. We will seek alliances, first with the Maritimes and then with other concerned Provinces and Territories, to press for action from the federal government. The Green Party believes that the best way to accomplish both lifesaving and costcutting goals is through a universal pharmacare program, a bulk drug purchasing agency, and making new drug patent protection times shorter.

Question 2 response: 

The Green Party believes all Islanders should have timely access to all the health services at the time they need it, including cancer medications. Collaboration is one of the Green Party’s core principles, so we are in favour of working with other governments in the region on this issue.

Question 3 response:

The Green Party would institute a provincewide ban on the use of cosmetic pesticides and also aid farmers in a transition to organic practices.

Rosalyn Abbott, Cornwall – Meadowbank

Dear Ms. Manthorne:

Thank you for you insightful note.

With good reason many islanders are concerned about the high incidence of cancers here, especially those that appear to be associated with bad land stewardship and water management practices. The NDP PEI will ban the use of cosmetic pesticides island-wide and will work with farmers to support the best land stewardship practices.

No cancer patient should be without needed medications or treatment either because they are not readily available or because they are not covered by the provincial drug formulary. Your idea of partnering with regions and other provinces to get a better and more predictable supply of medications for cancer patients is excellent and an NDP PEI government would adopt this approach immediately.

Guided by the NDP Health Accord which features effective community engagement as a primary pillar, NDP MLAs will be open, constructive and effective in protecting and promoting the health and wellness of every Islander.

Thank you for raising these concerns with me and be assured action , as you suggest, will be a priority for an NDP provincial government.

Mike Redmond

Question 1 response: 

A Progressive Conservative government will implement a 20% reduction in the co-pay for seniors’ drugs. In our party’s Senior’s Platform we stated that there is also a need for broader reforms to our drug programs, especially catastrophic drug coverage. An effective catastrophic drug program could help us support more Islanders, meet pressing health needs and realize cost savings. We will review the current structure of existing drug programs to provide better support, allowing Islanders to better manage their own personal health and help reduce health care costs.

We will also review current purchasing practices with suppliers and distributers within the current system with the objective of creating greater cost efficiencies. We will also explore opportunities for bulk purchases and distribution with our neighbouring provinces.

Question 2 response:

If elected to government, will you:

A) Commit to ensuring that all cancer patients in Prince Edward Island receive timely access to medications at the time they need it?

Our party is concerned that it takes our province almost twice as long as Ontario for example to add cancer drugs to our formulary that have been already been approved by the national pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review. The average wait for P.E.I. is 309 days, as compared to 150 days in Ontario.

A Progressive Conservative government will consult with the provincial drug review committee to reform the approval process so that licensed medications are approved more quickly.

B) Undertake negotiations leading to regional collaboration to ensure timely patient access to cancer drugs?

As a Progressive Conservative government we will undertake to negotiate and consult with our regional partners to provide timely patient access to cancer drugs.

Question 3 response:

A Progressive Conservative government is committed to a working with our agricultural community to ensure strict adherence and enforcement of regulations surrounding the use of chemicals and sprays in our province. We will also work with our agriculture industry in support of efforts to minimize the use of pesticides to further mitigate risks to our farmers, their neighbours and our environment.