Green Party Candidate – Rachel Pletz – Riverview

Our Question:

Dear Party/Candidate,

Please respond to these important questions.

The Canadian Cancer Survivor Network (CCSN) works to connect patients, survivors and other stakeholder groups with decision makers and the wider community to engage in discussion and to act on evidence-based best practices to alleviate the medical, emotional, financial and social costs of cancer and encourage research on ways to overcome barriers to optimal cancer care and follow-up for patients, caregivers and survivors in Canada.

A recent CCSN-commissioned Leger survey of 1,243 Canadians revealed that the response to the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a crisis in essential cancer care across the country. Cancer patients, their caregivers and those awaiting confirmation of a cancer diagnosis faced and still face postponed and cancelled appointments, tests and treatment, causing heightened fear and anxiety, even as pandemic restrictions of are lifted.

Here are a few responses we received in our Leger survey from cancer patients living in New Brunswick:

“I had a throat scan cancelled, now I don’t know if I’m still in remission.”

“Crainte que le cancer soit revenu et de ne pouvoir avoir de suivi dans un délai raisonnable.”

The government of New Brunswick has a critical role to play in making sure that essential cancer care is not disrupted by COVID-19.

Cancer can’t be cancelled or postponed. The delay and cancellation of cancer care due to COVID-19 has triggered another public health crisis. Cancer care and diagnosis must continue during any public health crisis affecting Canadians to save lives.

If elected, how will your government provide the explicit inclusion of essential cancer care in a second or third wave of COVID-19 and in all crisis and pandemic planning in the future?

Your response will be circulated to cancer patients, caregivers and survivors in New Brunswick and included on our website at Links to your responses will also be posted on Facebook and Twitter.


Response from the candidate:

“As a cancer survivor this issue could not be closer to my heart.  My own appointments have been cancelled.  A close friend of mine is also going through delays in monitoring his symptoms with an oncologist as he awaits a diagnosis.  The stress and fear is overwhelming and we need to find a better way to manage cancer patients during the pandemic.  The Green Party believes in bringing the decision making back to the healthcare communities, so that we can address the needs of each region as their specific challenges dictate.  If elected, you can count on me to collaborate with the oncology department serving our region to determine the best plan of action to address the unique needs of the cancer patients in our community.  Take care, cancer patients.  I am always thinking of you.”

Rachel Pletz, Green Party Candidate Riverview