CARP in the Corridors of Power

Elections in Nova Scotia

Much has happened in the past few weeks… We worked with our chapter in Nova Scotia to address candidates and make our priorities known in preparation for the June 9th elections.

In collaboration with our Nova Scotia chapter, we sent out open letters to the party leaders during the campaign period. See the open letter we sent to then Premier MacDonald, Liberal leader Stephen McNeil and NDP leader and now Premier Darrel Dexter on senior’s housing as well as the premier’s response. We also sent the premier an open letter to call for pension reform.

Before the election, Halifax CARP Chair Bill VanGorder send NDP leader Derrel Dexter an Aging in place questionnaire. In his response Mr.Dexter promised some exciting new programs for seniors including:

– a self-managed care allowance of $500 per month to pay caregivers;
– home adaptation funds for seniors and;
– more restorative care to address mobility concerns and medication issues.

Since Mr. Dexter is now the Nova Scotia premier, we hope he intends to keep his pre-election promises. Click here to view a copy of the letter.

We will be getting in touch with the new administration and expect to find them receptive to the issues that CARP has raised with them. They will have the example of your engagement on the pension reform issue to remind them that we are prepared to follow up.

Senior’s Month in Ontario

On June 3rd we were at the Ontario legislature to hear Minister Aileen Carroll’s speech in celebration of Senior’s Month. Click here to read the handsards for the entire session .

Minister Carroll spoke of age-friendly communities and the investment in a new province-wide hotline to help seniors who fall victim to elder abuse. Members of the opposition took the opportunity to raise some important and unresolved issues.

Progressive Conservative MP Gerry Martiniuk challenged the government’s plan to harmonize the sales tax charging “…instead of acknowledging the needs of our senior citizens, this government has abandoned them… Ontario’s seniors will be among the hardest-hit people in Ontario by this new tax grab.” He also admonished the government for failing to provide locked-in fund holders with 100% access to the pensions. However, not many in his party were present in the Legislature the day his caucus colleague’s Private Members’ Bill came forward for a vote.

Paul Miller, NDP critic for senior’s issues said he was concerned that the government was not doing enough to protect seniors. He criticized the government for not properly backstopping the pension guarantee fund and for failing to provide grandparents raising their grandchildren with adequate support funding.

There are many improvements to be made to senior’s policy in Ontario. Hopefully the members of provincial parliament devote some time in June to remedy these issues. Perhaps now is the perfect time to make your views known to your provincial MPP.