2024 AGM with Seamus O’Regan, Minister for Seniors

The Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) held its annual general meeting (AGM) on Thursday, February 22nd.

The meeting had a substantial attendance, with over 85 members attending the meeting in person, over 600 participating by zoom and watching the recorded video, and over 2,800 represented by proxy.

Chief Community Officer, Anthony Quinn led the proceedings, which involved voting on and passing a number of motions including approving the minutes from last year’s AGM, approving the financial statements and auditor’s report, and appointing Bill VanGorder and Rudy Buttignol as Directors to CARP for the span of two years or until a predecessor is elected or appointed, whichever occurs first.

As part of our annual general meetings (AGM) CARP traditionally invites speakers on a topic that will engage our members. This year we were happy to host the Federal Minister for Seniors, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, who provided comments about his work on Canadian seniors, and joined Bill VanGorder for an interview.

O’Regan shared many a promising view of issues key to seniors. In terms of healthcare, O’Regan emphasized that the federal government is creating essentially “a new national health care plan” through both national pharmacare and the Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP). He also signalled alignment with CARP issues related to financial security, such as RRIF reform and a boost to the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).

“We’re not afraid of doing big things for older Canadians,” he said.

O’Regan noted that one-quarter of people living in his home province of Newfoundland and Labrador are seniors and that half are over the age of 50.

“That’s what Canada will look like in a few years,” he said, referring to the ‘grey wave’ of a surging senior demographic, joking that “in Newfoundland and Labrador, we’re living in the future.”

CARP is heartened by healthcare and financial reforms intentions which aim to better serve Canadian citizens, and in particular older ones. However, as always promises are one thing, but implementation of complex public programming is another.

In their conversation together, Bill VanGorder, Chief Advocacy and Education Officer VanGorder asked O’Regan about whether the national pharmacare would be in place by the next election. He also urged the seniors minister to push for funding of all NACI-recommended vaccines for seniors across the country, a key component of CARP’s advocacy. O’Regan responded that his party was in discussions with the NDP on the pharmacare rollout, and talked about significant cost-savings related to the government’s new bulk-buying program.

VanGorder shared how the reality of fixed incomes combined with increasing longevity and high cost-of-living has many seniors in Canada deeply concerned about outliving their money. O’Regan responded that his government was addressing “affordability,” saying he was “committed” to boosting the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) for those Canadians most in need.

A dedicated question and answer time also gave our members to share issues on their mind, such as the detrimental impact of social isolation on the well being of seniors.

CARP will continue to monitor and push for these and other advocacy issues that impact the quality of life of older Canadians.


CARP members sometimes wonder about CARP’s political affiliation. CARP is a resolutely nonpartisan not-for-profit. We do not endorse political candidates or parties. Our members come from a broad political spectrum, and we work with all parties and all levels of government.

O’Regan joins a prestigious list of politicians to address CARP’s AGM including the not-yet prime minister Justin Trudeau (2015); NDP leader Jagmeet Singh (2021); then-Conservative leader Andrew Scheer (2018); former NDP leader Tom Mulcair (2012) and Ontario Premier Doug Ford (2022).

Read more about how we advocate here.