Welcome to the first Government Relations and Advocacy post on our blog. I’m Neil Pierce, the national vice-president of government relations and the president of the Alberta and Northwest Territories Division. I have spent the past 10 years with the MS Society, and I’m excited to share some of the good work that is being done across the country to address the needs of Canadians affected by MS.
With this blog I’m excited to participate in an exchange of ideas, and I encourage you to share your stories of how MS has affected your life. Use social media to call for change – and encourage others to do the same. Use the hashtag #ActionOnMS so I can follow along; post your comments to our Facebook page, and comment on my blog posts below.
— MS Society of Canada (@MSSocietyCanada) November 4, 2014
You are the credible expert on how MS affects your life, and you can use that experience for important civic engagement.
Practice sharing your story in two minutes or less and think about how to make it relevant to advocacy issues you’re passionate about.
Looking back at 2014, I was inspired by the momentum that has started with the launch of our ACTION on MS report in May, which called on all levels of Canadian government to take action in 4 areas: secure jobs and income; caregiver supports; coordinated lifelong care and support; and progressive MS research.
These calls to action were based on the results of the MS Society’s Listening to People Affected by MS initiative, which gathered important details on the impact of multiple sclerosis on quality of life.
We heard, for example, that many Canadians with MS face the reality of no longer being able to work because of the unpredictability of MS — and there are many gaps in our current support system that don’t adequately address the needs of people with episodic illnesses like MS. If you haven’t yet had a chance to read the report, you can find it here.
Together, we can continue to push for ACTION on MS. I look forward to reading your stories, getting to know you, and continuing to work alongside you to push for change.