Letter: Senior Issues ….. An Election Priority

0

Healthcare and pensions. ….. two election issues near and dear to Canadians and most especially to seniors. The Retired Teachers of Ontario, (RTO/ERO) believes that these two issues deserve firm commitments from our federal government.
RTO/ERO represents 72,000 retired public and private teachers, educational support staff, college & university faculty and support staff throughout the province.

RTO/ERO is seeking from the Federal Government and the provinces a commitment to a phased-in, managed approach to universal healthcare that combines prevention and remediation. Recognizing that pharmaceuticals are the largest cause of health costs in our country, RTO/ERO believes that an important component of truly universal healthcare is a Pharmacare program. We need a national drug plan to cover all essential drug costs the way Medicare covers hospitals and physicians, providing universal access to safe and appropriate care. Presently without such a plan, 1 in 10 Canadians cannot afford their medical prescriptions!
In this federal election campaign RTO/ERO recommends:
That the Prime Minister convene a meeting of Premiers and Provincial Finance Ministers to work out a timeframe for a phased-in universal health care program, and that such a program include a cooperative Federal-Provincial Pharmacare Program.

75% of private sector workers who make up the majority of the workforce are without a pension plan. Most are facing retirement years where their only income is the CPP. Even topped up with Old Age Security (OAS) benefits the total will likely be less than $1600 a month. Seniors living in poverty are more likely to suffer ill health and less likely to be active and stay independent. This adds to skyrocketing health and social services costs. The federal government should embrace the opportunity to raise the quality of life of Canadians.
In this federal election campaign RTO/ERO recommends:
That the Federal Government undertake an expansion of the CPP in conjunction with the Provinces and Territories to ensure that Canadians can continue to maintain a reasonable standard of living in their retirement years.

Because seniors’ issues deserve attention in this election campaign, RTO/ERO District 3 is sponsoring a candidates meeting focused on seniors’ issues, issues such as poverty, healthcare, housing and pensions. Together with our local partners, Chapter 15 of the Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP), the Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma Seniors Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) and the Algoma Branch of the National Association of Federal Retirees (NAFR) we extend an invitation to the public.
The candidates meeting will be held at the Senior Citizens Drop In Centre at 615 Bay Street on October 15 from 2:00 until 4:00 p.m. The conservative candidate, MP Bryan Hayes, has declined our invitation to attend but the candidates from the other three major parties have indicated that they will be there.

Above all, RTO/ERO encourages members and the general public to become informed and exercise their democratic right and VOTE!

Marie DellaVedova
Political Advocacy Co-Chair
RTO/ERO District 3 Algoma