Jati Sidhu, Member of Parliament for Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, will be travelling throughout the riding in March to host town halls discussing the development of a National Seniors’ Strategy.
Sidhu’s colleague, Nickel Belt MP Marc Serré, had his private members’ motion M-106 passed by Parliament in May 2017. The motion aims to improve the quality of life for Canadian seniors and provide better support to caregivers through the development of a national strategy.
The strategy itself is still early in its development, but is exploring how the federal government can improve access to housing for seniors, including aging in place and affordable and accessible housing; income security for vulnerable seniors; and overall quality of life and well-being for seniors, including community programming, social inclusivity, and social determinants of health.
“People are living longer, and by 2036 seniors are expected to make up 25 per cent of the Canadian population,” Sidhu says. “People aged 85 years and over make up the fastest growing age group in Canada. We need to build a plan that will both serve our seniors and address possible gaps in existing policy before it is too late.”
Sidhu welcomes all who are interested to attend the presentation and discussion, and to contribute ideas and any potential concerns for the strategy going forward.
“Our government has been delivering positive results for seniors, from reducing the age of eligibility of OAS and GIS from 67 back to 65, increasing the GIS benefit for low-income single seniors, investing $6 billion in homecare over six years, and more,” Sidhu says. “However, if we are to ensure that Canadians continue to be vibrant and contributing members of their community into their senior years, there is still much that can be done.”
Upcoming town halls will be held in Lytton (March 13 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Lytton Anglican Parish Hall); Lillooet (March 13 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the Lillooet Rec Centre); Cache Creek (March 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Cache Creek Community Hall); and Ashcroft (March 14 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the Ashcroft Community Hall).