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Policy Matters: Robyn Blackadar

Later this year, Canadians will vote in the 43rd federal election. Many non-profit organizations, networks, and coalitions see elections as a critical opportunity to raise relevant public policy issues. Recently, the rules for charities engaging in public policy have become a prominent source of debate and discussion in government and the sector. As we countdown to the next election, The Philanthropist is asking non-profit leaders what public policy issues are top of mind for them.

Name and organization: Robyn Blackadar, PolicyWise for Children & Families 

What current election issues might impact your work?  

Child, youth, and family well-being is essential for a prosperous country.  Canada is ranked 25th among the world’s richest countries on issues of child health, survival, and protection. Our ability to generate evidence to support new policy development or measure the impact of existing policy on child, youth, and family well-being is dependent on government commitment. We advocate for an increase in the current level of federal funding and interest to conduct research, evaluation, and data analysis on social and health issues.  National indicators of well-being should be adopted and tracked, and mandated action plans put in place to ensure measurable improvement.

What issues would you like to bring more attention to in the election? 

The over-representation of Indigenous children in the child welfare system.  The implementation of Bill C-92 must be based on knowledge of distinctive needs of Indigenous communities.  Using wellness and resiliency frameworks is critical for ensuring a focus on prevention and early intervention.

Canada’s family justice system must be modernized to consider the best interests of the child, address family violence, help reduce child poverty, and become more accessible and efficient.

The impact on society of addictions and mental health issues must be addressed through increased support for mental health promotion and evidence-informed policy development. 

Where can we learn more about these issues?

PolicyWise website

Canadian Child and Youth Wellbeing Index

PolicyWise’s Wellbeing and Resiliency: Evaluation Framework

PolicyWise Mental Health Dashboard

Robyn Blackadar is President & CEO if PolicyWise for Children & Families.

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