Ottawa — May 4, 2022
#VoteScience campaign returns to advocate for science in Ontario’s provincial election
Evidence for Democracy is kicking off the first-ever provincial Vote Science campaign to advocate for science, and call on local candidates to commit to evidence-informed decision-making in Ontario. Originally launched in the 2019 and 2021 federal elections, #VoteScience is a non-partisan bilingual campaign that empowers voters with the tools they need to engage with their local candidates on science-related issues.
“Ontarians care about science,” said Rachael Maxwell, Executive Director of Evidence for Democracy. “Many Ontario voters are desperate to see how science is being used to inform decision-making, especially as they grapple with understanding the evidence that has informed public health measures for the last two years. But beyond the pandemic, scientific research is critical to address pressing challenges, like tackling the climate crisis, and spurring the innovations that strengthen the economy.”
The campaign offers tools to help Ontario voters engage with local candidates to support science and commit to evidence-informed decision-making if elected to government. The Vote Science portal includes an easy-to-use template to contact local candidates, science-relevant questions to ask, and a form to track candidate interactions and identify science champions.
During past Vote Science campaigns, Canadians sent over 800 emails and 300 postcards to candidates to ask if, and how, they would prioritize science. Over 150 Canadians participated across 10+ events to hear from candidates on science-related issues. The campaign isn’t only limited to scientists: a Reverend in British Columbia shared the campaign with members of his congregation.
“Using scientific evidence to inform public policy can’t be an approach used only in times of crisis,” said Maxwell. “The capacity of science to contribute to effective problem-solving needs to be continuously leveraged, and Ontarians—the people most affected by provincial policy—are well positioned to demand this from their elected representatives.”
Ontarians are encouraged to use this portal to connect with candidates on science-related issues.
The Vote Science campaign is organized by Evidence for Democracy: a national non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting the transparent use of evidence in government decision-making. Learn more about Vote Science at https://www.votescience.ca/.
Media Contact (EN/FR)
Executive Director, Evidence for Democracy
Rachael Maxwell joins Evidence for Democracy with a deep knowledge of the science landscape in Canada and a strong track record of success working at national not-for-profit research organizations. From 2018-21 she held progressively responsible roles at Genome Canada, working across the organization on key priorities in communications, public affairs and strategic planning. Previously, Rachael worked at Mitacs on the Canadian Science Policy Fellowship where she managed the design and delivery of the program from its inception through its first three cohorts. Rachael is also a member of the Board of the Directors at the Science and Policy Exchange. Rachael is passionate about working at the intersection of science, society and policy. She speaks to diverse audiences at home and abroad about the need to improve the mechanisms that connect science and policy. Rachael also brings years of experience working in arts management and an academic background in cultural studies.