CARP fights for equitable access to the best available health care, financial security and freedom from ageism.
How do we advocate?
We listen to members, volunteers, older Canadians.
We talk about the issues that matter to older Canadians to the public, the media and the government.
And we engage in advocacy campaigns and in governmental processes/We do through this our national office, chapters, and YOU.
The reality is influencing public policy is complex, and rarely a linear process. Change happens through the negotiations amongst a range of stakeholders, including politicians, interest groups, advisers, bureaucrats, and others. But one of the most important factors in ensuring decision-makers listen to the perspective of older Canadians is ensuring that older Canadians themselves are speaking up.
Your Voice Matters.
According to the 2021 census, there are currently over 7 million seniors in Canada. The senior population is one of the fastest-growing age groups.
Not only are older Canadians a large and potentially powerful group in Canada, but federal and provincial policy-making that affects older Canadians is more important than ever.
Here’s some of the WINS CARP has celebrated, with help from our volunteers, members and every day Canadians.
CHANGES TO LONG TERM INSTITUTIONAL CARE
- In Nova Scotia, a separate Ministry of Long-term Care was created.
- Ontario Minister of Long-term Care was replaced.
- Comprehensive inspections of all long-term care homes were carried out.
- Ottawa Chapter advocated strongly for a move from institutional to emotion-based care.
DECREASING THE COST OF MEDICATION
- CARP’s advocacy has resulted in provincial age-based, income-based, and employment-based programs that offset the cost to individuals.
- Most recently, when Ontario recently tried to introduce a new co-pay for seniors’ prescriptions, CARP’s strong opposition resulted in the proposed policy’s demise.
MAKING HOMECARE POSSIBLE
- CARP was instrumental in a $6 million home care commitment from Federal government to provinces.
- CARP continues to fight for government investment and supports to allow Canadians to age at home.
- Nova Scotia Chapter published a Homecare position paper with analysis and recommendations
- Ottawa Chapter provided a robust falls prevention education campaign
PROTECTION AGAINST THE FLU
- NACI recommended high dose flu vaccines are now available at no charge to Canadians 65+ in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Yukon, New Brunswick and PEI.
- Shingles vaccines are now available in Ontario for seniors 65-70 years old.
- Ontario now provides coverage for the lowest income as a result of Ontario’s advocacy.
- Working with Canadian Dental Association to achieve no-cost dental coverage for older Canadians.
ACCESS TO INNOVATIVE TREATMENTS
- After CARP’s outcry, the federal government put a hold on a number of changes to the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) that would make access to innovative treatment even more problematic.
ACCESS TO OPTOMETRY
- CARP pushed for negotiations between the government and the Ontario Association of Optometrists, ending job action by optometrists, and ensuring the two parties could seek a fair and sustainable funding model that ensures ongoing availability of eyecare.
- CARP is pushing for Bill C-284, a federal eyecare strategy.
ESTABLISHMENT OF CPP INVESTMENT BOARD
- CARP was instrumental in establishing the CPP Investment Board in 1997. The establishment of CPP Investments ensures investment decisions are made at arm’s length from governments, while maintaining strong public sector accountability to the federal and provincial finance ministers who serve as stewards.
PENSION INCOME IN COUPLES
- CARP fought for the right to split pension income between spouses. By splitting pensions with a lower income spouse/partner the higher income earner is dropped into a lower tax bracket thus reducing a couple’s overall taxes. This saved seniors in Canada billions in tax dollars. CARP continues to protect this win.
INCREASED GUARANTEED INCOME SUPPLEMENT FOR LOWEST INCOME SENIORS
- CARP recently won an $1000 annual increase in the guaranteed income supplement (GIS) for lowest income seniors in Ontario (when combined with the OAS increase for people 75+).
LOWERING MANDATORY RRIF WITHDRAWALS
- CARP has been successful in seeing the mandatory amounts for withdrawal lowered. CARP continues its fight against mandatory withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIF)s for those who have saved with Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP)s, and see their registered accounts converted to income funds that require annual, taxable distributions.
INCREASE IN OAS, FEDERAL SECURITY BENEFIT
- The amount increased in 2021 for those over 75. However, seniors 65-75 did not benefit. CARP continues to advocate for financial security for all seniors.
REDRESSED NEGATIVE IMPACT OF CERB ELIGIBILITY FOR SENIORS RECEIVING GIS
- CARP worked strenuously to ensure the government compensated impacted individuals. $7424 million was paid by the government to alleviate the financial hardship caused by this oversight.
- CARP has advocated strongly for super-priority status for pensioners, which will mean that when companies go bankrupt, pensioners will no longer be collateral damage. CARP’s advocacy is nearing the finish line with this issue.
OMBUDSMAN FOR BANKING SERVICES AND INVESTMENTS
- Without an independent financial ombudsman service, customer complaints related to banking and investment are not handled consistently and compensation orders are not always upheld. After over 11 years of advocacy, this is another priority that is nearing the finish line. CARP is currently working hard to ensure a robust and impartial governance structure within the OBSI, as well as the integration of a seniors perspective.
FREEDOM FROM AGEISM
ENDING OF MANDATORY RETIREMENT AT AGE 65
- The removal of mandatory retirement was a landmark change for which CARP long lobbied. Today, retirement is offered at 65 plus, with those who want to, or need to work, staying productive in the workforce to the greater benefit of the economy and society.