This article was published by InsideToronto.com on April 20th 2012. To see this article and other related articles on InsideToronto.com, please click here
Znaimer welcomes ideas on spreading membership to immigrant communities
CARP has come to Etobicoke.
The national, non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to advocating a new vision of aging launched its 43rd chapter in Etobicoke at an event on Wednesday, April 18.
The organization (previously referred to as the Canadian Association of Retired Persons) is now open to anyone who is older than 45, retired or not, as well as their younger caregivers.
Moses Znaimer, CARP President and CEO of ZoomerMedia Limited was a special guest at the event held at Silverthorn Collegiate School.
Znaimer shared his vision for the Etobicoke chapter.
“The thing about starting a chapter here in Etobicoke is that the membership can begin to reflect the reality of life in Etobicoke,” he said.
He hopes if various ethnic communities and groups have representatives in the organization, it will help CARP be more aware of their needs. Znaimer also expressed a concern about the difficulty of connecting to the immigrant community due to language barriers and promised to discuss that issue with the organization.
He said he welcomes input from the community on how to break those barriers and create awareness.
Following the presentation of a documentary on Zoomers of Canada, Znaimer, along with Susan Eng, vice president of advocacy, Eric Vengroff, vice president of benefits and Ross Mayot, vice president of community development, addressed CARP members’ concerns on issues such as retirement benefits, government policies and health and other resources for seniors.
One man expressed his concern about the government’s policy on Old Age Security (OAS) program during the meeting.
“I am absolutely outraged that (Prime Minister Stephen) Harper can stand there and say that grandmothers and grandfathers in the future are somehow to be treated differently, less well than we are right here and now. That’s outrageous” he said.
Eng responded to the concern by stressing the importance of CARP members’ opinions on the policy-making level.
“This is a group of people, who are going to come out on a beautiful spring night, listen to us for one or two hours and go out and vote every time, This is a group of people that are going to care about the things that they vote about. They care about the social safety net, they care about the parliamentary process,” she said.
Vengroff also stressed the benefits of CARP membership for the Zoomers.
“You can get a lot of different benefits from a lot of different places. But I have to say that, only in one place – and that’s CARP – can you get not only just the benefits, but the power of the advocacy that we do and the value of the community. There’s no other organization in Canada that provides that comprehensive blanket of overall benefits,” he said, referring to various discounts in products and services available to the CARP membership.
For more information on the organization, visit www.carp.ca/category/community/regional/central/etobicoke, email [email protected] or call Chapter Chair Gary Hepworth at 647-918-5195.