The times, they are a-changin’

Moses Znaimer

CARP meets to celebrate past successes and plan for the future.

The population shift, which demographers have long been predicting, is finally making its presence felt in Canada. Every 12 seconds in this country, somebody turns 50, and these healthy and wealthy boomers are beginning to revolutionize their demographic, just as they did in their 20s, 30s and 40s.

In the midst of this ground-shifting age quake, CARP held its Annual General Meeting last November in Toronto. And if the proceedings of the AGM were any indication, it seems the organization is ready to transform itself to reflect Canada’s new demographic reality.

“We can never stand still,” began Lillian Morgenthau in her president’s address to the CARP Annual General Meeting at the Intercontinental Hotel in Toronto. “Time moves forward, and so does CARP.”

It’s an exciting time to be part of CARP as it strives to become a focal point to Canada’s burgeoning 50-plus population. In moving forward, the organization plans to increase its influence not only on the advocacy front but also in providing better services to its members.

Mrs. Morgenthau, who founded CARP and was re-elected president for another term, outlined CARP’s major achievements from the previous year, including: • a successful lobby to end mandatory retirement in many provinces.

• partnering with the federal government to create a plan that will protect seniors in case of climate-related emergencies.

• active involvement on the Seniors Mental Health Commission.

• a successful lobbying effort to convince the Conservative government to introduce pension splitting.

After her speech came the major announcement that well-known media entrepreneur Moses Znaimer will be joining the CARP board of directors. It’s a natural fit for both CARP and Znaimer, whose growing media empire includes several radio stations aimed at the 50-plus market as well as a television production and distribution company.

Although Znaimer did not reveal any major plans in his short address, it’s clear CARP wants to capitalize on his media savvy and political clout to energize the organization and make it more relevant to Canada’s 50-plus demographic.

The first step is increasing membership, a move that will add clout to CARP’s already strong voice in Ottawa as well as at the provincial and territorial legislatures. To this end, CARP announced a major membership drive and will begin an aggressive marketing campaign to capture a larger share of the market.

As well as organizational news, CARP board member Dr. Colin Powell spoke on how he will spearhead an important new campaign that aims to improve senior care by increasing the number of geriatric doctors across the country.

This year’s AGM included CARP’s successful Lifestyle Show, a one-day event that gathered well-known media personalities and top Canadian companies. The event attracted well over 500 people, who packed rooms to hear talks by CARP magazine’s own resident humourist Arthur Black, author and broadcaster Libby Znaimer and relationships columnist Valerie Gibson as well as CTV travel expert Loren Christie and financial editor Linda Leatherdale.

In fact, Black’s musings were so popular, he was asked to give it a second time to accommodate those who couldn’t get in to his first talk.