St. John’s-Avalon Chapter Annual Report 2011

CARP St. John’s-Avalon Chapter
2012 Annual General Meeting
Annual Report

CARP ( is a national, non-partisan, non-profit
organization committed to advocate for a better quality
of life for older Canadians and for social change that will
bring financial security, equitable and timely access to
healthcare and freedom from discrimination. CARP believes
that a healthy aging population requires:

(1) adequate financial security: This includes freedom from
excessive tax burdens and restrictions, freedom from
predatory financial practices and consumer fraud,
adequate guaranteed i ncome support programs and equitable
access to pension and other retirement savings vehicles;

(2) adequate healthcare: This includes equitable and timely
access to high quality health, uniform and affordable
access to medicines and medical devices, equitable and
timely access to ageing at homeoptions, adequate support
and legal rights for caregivers and easy access to
dependable information and resources for healthy living;

(3) freedom from age discrimination: This includes the
right to continue working, driving and living independently,
freedom from ageist and other stereotypes in advertising and
the media, and freedom from elder abuse. CARP has 350,000
members across Canada with about 2,500 in Newfoundland and
 Labrador. It is the largest organization in Canada devoted
to issues of concern to older Canadians. There are 50 CARP
chapters across the country from Victoria, BC to here in
St. John’s. The St. John’s-Avalon Chapter has been in
existence longer than most of the other Chapters. Canadians
over the age of 65 now number 4.6 million of whom 67,000
live in Newfoundland and Labrador. These are the citizens
whose future prospects have been seriously affected by the
recent economic downturn. Further, in the province of
Newfoundland and Labrador, 62 percent of those who have
retired survive solely on the Old Age pension, the GIS and
CPP. Of greater significance is the fact that in this
province  the annual income of  62 percent of females over
the age of 65 is less than $15,000.

The remainder of this Report  summarizes some of the Chapter
activities during 2011.

Volunteer Week 2011 was held in St. John’s, April 10-16. The
Chapter mounted a display at the Village Shopping Mall on April
11. Long time Chapter Board member Roy Church was nominated for
a Volunteer of the Year Award which was presented to him by
Lieutenant Governor John Crosbie.

Board members attended a workshop  “Internet Safety for
Seniors” on May 4.

The Chapter in cooperation with the Silver Lights Club, whose
members are retirees of the provincial energy corporation Nalcor,
sponsored a Spring Information Day on May 10. Talks included:
Investment strategies for seniors; Real Estate advisors and
Appraisers; Real Estate Overview in St. John’s; Seniors in the
St. John’s housing market; Retirement Residences, an alternative;
Wills and Estate Planning with Trusts; What is Zoomer power;
Florida Real Estate. The St. John’s-Avalon Chapter was a sponsor
of Senior’s Day at the Memorial University Botanical Garden
held on June 16. This annual event provides free admittance to
the Botanical Garden for seniors, particularly residents of
nursing and personal care homes in the region. During the
opening ceremonies, the contribution of the Chapter was
acknowledged by the Friends of the Garden.
The Chapter is represented on the City of St. John’s Mayor’s
Advisory Committee on Seniors. This year for the first time, the
City declared June as Senior’s month and held a ceremony at which
outstanding city senior volunteers were recognized. Also,
“Seniors: Aging in a Growing City” was the focus of an afternoon
session with a number of speakers addressing different aspects
of the theme.

The Hon. Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors) visited St.
John’s on August 19.  She visited the Senior’s Resource Centre
in the  morning and participated in a round table on Elder Abuse
with members of the Elder Abuse Committee and members of the
CARP Board. Members of the Chapter Board met with Minister Wong
over lunch to discuss local issues of concern to seniors. This
session was very pleasant and the Minister engaged in a
discussion of her responsibility to represent the concerns of
seniors at the federal cabinet table. The Chapter received an
invitation to attend the “Prevention of Elder Abuse: A Shared
Responsibility Symposium” on Monday and Tuesday, October 3 and
4 at the Holiday Inn, St. John’s. The Keynote Session was  “It’s
Not Right - Neighbours, Friends and Families for Older Adults
Project” by Barb MacQuarrie, Community Director of the Centre
for Research and Education on Violence Against Women & Children,
University of Western Ontario. This Symposium  included the
launch of the NLNPEA, the Newfoundland and Labrador Network for
the Prevention of Elder Abuse (formerly the Elder Abuse
Committee of NL). The Annual Meeting of the Canadian Medical
Association was held in St. John’s, August 21-24, 2011. The
Chair was asked to represent CARP at this meeting  and attended
manyof the sessions. The main focus was on future negotiations
for a newHealth Accord due for implementation in 2014 to replace
the exitingAccord which came into effect in 2004. On October 3,
2011, exactly one week prior to the Newfoundland provincial
election, the St. John’s Telegram published a letter from the
Chapter Chair on “Seniors’ matters deserve more attention”.
Interestingly, the very next day, an election promise to spend
100 million for home care and other initiatives was announced by
the ultimately successful Progressive Party of NL.
The Chapter mounted a display at a meeting of the Canadian
Diabetes Association held in St. John’s on October 19. There
were about 180 participants and many visited the CARP booth.
The Annual Meeting of CARP was held in Toronto, October 27-29,
2011. Your Chair was invited to attend and participate in this
meeting along with the Chairs of the other fifty Chapters in
cities from St. John’s to Victoria.
I want to thank all members of the Board of Directors who have
served during the past year. In the case of our Treasurer, he has
served from the very beginning and was very deserving of a
volunteer award in April. If any member present today is
interested in the advocacy work of the Chapter, we encourage
you to become involved. It can be very rewarding.
Edgar Williams
St. John’s-Avalon Chapter
January 2012