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Meeting Document Type: 
Information Report
Vote for Health Municipal Survey - Summary of Results

Background

On September 5th, the Windsor Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) distributed a voluntary survey to all local council and mayoral candidates running in the 2018 municipal election. The survey asked candidates how they would prioritize their efforts based on seven local public health priority areas. These areas included: dental health, substance misuse, food insecurity, mental illness, built environment, and climate change. These priority areas were identified based on local data, results from the WECHU’s 2016 Community Needs Assessment, and the Association of Local Public Health Agencies’ (alPHa) Municipal Election Policy Priorities document. This approach was adapted with permission from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, and was modified to address locally relevant issues. The results of the survey were posted on the WECHU’s website on October 5th.

Demographics

The survey was sent to all 174 mayoral and councillor candidates from Amherstburg, Essex, Kingsville, Lakeshore, Lasalle, Leamington, Tecumseh, and Windsor. In total, 50% (87) of the candidates completed the survey. There were more respondents from Essex County than the City of Windsor.

Table 1: Respondents by position

Position

# of candidates

# of respondents

Mayor

19

8 (42%)

Deputy Mayor

16

11 (69%)

Councillor

139

68 (49%)

Total

174

87 (50%)

Table 2: Respondents by municipality

Municipality

# of candidates

# of respondents

Amherstburg

20

11 (55%)

Essex

19

8 (42%)

Kingsville

17

12 (71%)

Lakeshore

25

14 (56%)

Lasalle

12

5 (42%)

Leamington

19

10 (53%)

Tecumseh

12

9 (75%)

Windsor

50

18 (36%)

Total

174

87

Resource Allocation

Candidates were asked how they would spend $100 on the identified local public health issues. They were told that their answers should reflect the amount of time and resources they would give to each topic in their community.

All candidates that completed the survey said that they would allocate resources towards mental illness. On average, candidates provided 25% of their resources to mental health in the community (in relation to the other six public health issue areas). The second highest allocation was towards substance misuse in the community; on average candidates provided 16% of their resources to the issue.

Table 3: Average dollar amount per health issue

Health Topic

$

Mental illness

25.49

Substance misuse

16.21

Built environment

13.76

Food insecurity

13.28

Health inequity

13.14

Dental health

9.55

Climate change

8.57

Vote for Health - Total dollar amount per health issue

Candidate Actions

When candidates gave resources to one of the local public health issues, they were then able to select actions they might take. These actions are evidence-supported ways to address the local public health issues.

  • Mental illness had the two highest actions selected; where 89% of candidates said they would advocate for funding for low-or no-cost mental health care to increase local access to treatment, and 87% would support training for first responders and front-line service providers to help people living with mental illness.
  • Food insecurity had the third highest selected action; where 84% of candidates said that they would support local programs, such as farmer’s markets, community gardens, and community kitchens. However, overall food insecurity had the fourth lowest average dollar amount ($13.28) allocated.
  • Putting fluoride into community water was the least selected by respondents.
  • Substance misuse had the second and third lowest selected action; about 28% of respondents supported local efforts to investigate the feasibility of safe injection sites, and 38% supported increasing the availability of naloxone and needle disposal bins in the community.

Actions selected by health topic

Table 4.1 Dental Health

Action

Yes

No

Put fluoride into the water in your community.

8.05%

91.95%

Increase support for dental health education and awareness.

59.77%

40.23%

Advocate for increased funding for dental health services and expansion of public dental programs.

63.22%

36.78%

Advocate for a provincially-funded dental health program for low income adults and seniors.

67.82%

32.18%

Table 4.2. Substance Misuse

Action

Yes

No

Advocate for sustained resources to address the rising rates of substance misuse.

73.56%

26.44%

Support local efforts to investigate the feasibility of safe injection sites.

27.59%

72.41%

Increase availability of naloxone and needle disposal bins in your community.

37.93%

62.07%

Advocate for increased timely access to treatment services and supportive housing for people struggling with addiction.

77.01%

22.99%

Table 4.3. Food Insecurity

Action

Yes

No

Implement, promote, and support the Living Wage program.

43.68%

56.32%

Support local programs, such as farmer’s markets, community gardens, and community kitchens.

83.91%

16.09%

Participate in the Windsor-Essex Food Policy Council to help shape a sustainable and healthy food system.

65.52%

34.38%

Implement a local food procurement policy for all municipally run facilities (e.g., recreation centres, day cares, etc.)

50.57%

49.43%

Table 4.4. Climate Change

Action

Yes

No

Advocate for ways to improve local air quality (e.g., anti-idling policies).

59.77%

40.23%

Provide support and resources to develop response plans for extreme weather events.

58.62%

41.38%

Prevent diseases such as Zika Virus, Lyme Disease, and West Nile Virus by allocating more funding and support for surveillance and education.

50.57%

49.43%

Advocate for increased education and support to protect our public beaches, preventing beach closures, as well as blue green algae.

65.52%

34.48%

Table 4.5. Mental Illness

Action

Yes

No

Advocate for funding for low- or no-cost mental health care, to increase local access to treatment.

88.51%

11.49%

Support training for first responders and front-line service providers to effectively help people living with mental illness.

87.36%

12.64%

Support local mental health awareness campaigns.

81.61%

18.39%

Table 4.6: Built Environment

Action

Yes

No

Advocate for investments in active transportation infrastructure (e.g., bike trails, walking paths, sidewalks) and public transit.

79.31%

20.69%

Support by-laws, policies, and planning that encourages healthy design characteristics (e.g., safe bike lanes, lighting, green space, parks, walkability).

71.26%

28.74%

Enhance neighborhood walkability by supporting higher residential density and mixed land use.

50.57%

49.43%

Advocate for increased natural and built shade structures.

58.62%

41.38%

Table 4.7: Health Inequity

Action

Yes

No

Ensure there is a wide range of safe and affordable housing options, including rental accommodations.

68.97%

31.03%

Expand opportunities for residents to gain safe and secure jobs with fair pay.

63.22%

36.78%

Increase access to affordable community and recreation programming.

64.37%

35.63%

Support the development and expansion of municipal social investment plans and poverty reduction strategies.

65.52%

34.48%

Table 5: Actions selected by percentage

Action

Selected

Advocate for funding of low- or no-cost mental health care, to increase local access to treatment.

88.51%

Support training for first responders and front-line service providers to effectively help people living with mental illness.

87.36%

Support local programs, such as farmer’s markets, community gardens, and community kitchens.

83.91%

Support local mental health awareness campaigns.

81.61%

Advocate for investments in active transportation infrastructure (e.g., bike trails, walking paths, sidewalks) and public transit.

79.31%

Advocate for increased timely access to treatment services and supportive housing for people struggling with addiction.

77.01%

Advocate for sustained resources to address the rising rates of substance misuse.

73.56%

Support by-laws, policies, and planning that encourages healthy design characteristics (e.g., safe bike lanes, lighting, green space, parks, walkability).

71.26%

Ensure there is a wide range of safe and affordable housing options, including rental accommodations.

68.97%

Advocate for a provincially-funded dental health program for low income adults and seniors.

67.82%

Participate in the Windsor-Essex Food Policy Council to help shape a sustainable and healthy food system.

65.52%

Advocate for increased education and support to protect our public beaches, preventing beach closures, as well as blue green algae.

65.52%

Support the development and expansion of municipal social investment plans and poverty reduction strategies.

65.52%

Increase access to affordable community and recreation programming.

64.37%

Advocate for increased funding for dental health services and expansion of public dental programs.

63.22%

Expand opportunities for residents to gain safe and secure jobs with fair pay.

63.22%

Increase support for dental health education and awareness.

59.77%

Advocate for ways to improve local air quality (e.g., anti-idling policies).

59.77%

Provide support and resources to develop response plans for extreme weather events.

58.62%

Advocate for increased natural and built shade structures.

58.62%

Implement a local food procurement policy for all municipally run facilities (e.g., recreation centres, day cares, etc.)

50.57%

Prevent diseases such as Zika Virus, Lyme Disease, and West Nile Virus by allocating more funding and support for surveillance and education.

50.57%

Enhance neighborhood walkability by supporting higher residential density and mixed land use.

50.57%

Implement, promote, and support the Living Wage program.

43.68%

Increase availability of naloxone and needle disposal bins in your community.

37.93%

Support local efforts to investigate the feasibility of safe injection sites.

27.59%

Put fluoride into the water in your community.

8.05%