“Bad officials are the ones elected by good citizens who do not vote.”
- George Jean Nathan
The rollercoaster continues! As I write this in early March, I can start to feel the heat from the sun, the Ontario government has eased most of the COVID mandates and the Federal government is relaxing some of the international travel restrictions. It should be a time of positivity, and to some extent, it is.
However, Vladimir Putin has invaded Ukraine with a desire to replace a democratically elected government with an autocrat. The invasion has sent shockwaves around the world and cast a dark cloud that blocks much of the rejuvenating light and the heat from the sun.
In 1945, our organization was founded by veterans who had sustained spinal cord injuries fighting to uphold democracy and the right for all people to live the life they chose in a fully inclusive world.
In 2022, we have made huge gains, but as the world grapples with yet another war, the goal our founders set out with has yet to be fully realized - Ontario is still not fully inclusive! Change takes action! In June we will all have an opportunity to have our personal say on the legislation, policies and investments we want to see from the next Ontario government. We get to vote. Please do not miss the opportunity.
In this edition, you can read about how you can get involved not just in our community, but in making impactful change. Our platform “Your Move, Ontario” has been designed to make it easier for you to learn about the platforms and key issues of the four major parties, while also allowing you to connect with the candidates that will be running in your riding to become your voice in the Ontario government. Whether or not you support SCIO, we encourage you to ask questions and have your say on what is important for you.
Advocating for legislative and public policy change can often feel like the punishment of Sisyphus in Greek mythology, who was forced to ceaselessly roll a boulder up a steep hill (it is somewhat ironic that our Director of Public Policy, Peter Athanasopoulos, is Greek!).
But, with persistence, resilience, and using a non-partisan approach, together, we can make a difference. For example, even before the last election, we were advocating for funding to develop a provincial Neurotrauma Care Pathway so that wherever and however a person sustains a spinal cord injury in Ontario, they will receive the same, evidence-based, best practice in health care and support. Four years later, we finally secured funding to initiate the development of the pathway, and we are hopeful further funding will follow.
We do not view the upcoming election as a risk to our public policy goals, but rather a great opportunity to raise awareness with all candidates and all political parties of the need to make Ontario more inclusive. It is a time of optimism because we all get to have a say in what we want for the future.