The Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) works diligently to engage volunteer advocates at the grassroots level as well as build partnerships with the diabetes communities we serve in order to achieve advocacy success.

The Diabetes Charter for Canada outlines the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders in the diabetes communities, including people with diabetes, and presents guiding principles meant to serve as a catalyst for change to ensure that people with diabetes can live to their full potential. There are gaps we need to address so people living with diabetes and those who may be at risk for type 2 diabetes can access the care and support they need to live the healthiest lives possible.

What is advocacy?

Advocacy is a process used to increase awareness and to influence and effect positive change. These changes could be in attitude, policies and practices of government, business and general public perception.  Advocates often seek specific changes in public policy, legislation and resource allocation.

For the CDA, this means influencing elected officials, policy makers, public figures and the general public to support policies, programs and funding that will help achieve advocacy priorities. Examples of these priorities would be to:

  1. Ensure that people who live with diabetes are treated with dignity and respect.
  2. Advocate for equitable access to high quality diabetes care and supports.
  3. Enhance the health and quality of life for people who live with diabetes and their caregivers.

Advocacy is not only speaking with and writing to elected officials (e.g. Federal and Provincial Members of Parliament). Advocacy also includes building relationship with community leaders, as well as the general public.

Diabetes advocates are at the heart of the CDA and our efforts to help Canadians with or at risk of diabetes or prediabetes live healthy lives.