For immediate release
TORONTO ON, AUG 23 – CanAge, Canada’s National Seniors’ Advocacy Organization, is calling on federal party leaders to commit to three clear actions in their election platforms, all of which are critical to protect and improve the lives and well-being of older voters.
Elections Canada data shows that 8 in 10 people over the age of 65 voted in the last federal election, continuing the longstanding trend of older people being the most powerful and influential voters at the polls. Yet, all too often, issues affecting their lives are pushed to the side in favour of others deemed “more important” due to the underlying and rampant age-based prejudice that continues to permeate our society.
“We’re asking the federal party leaders to commit to three clear actions in their election platforms,” says Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge. “Ensuring their platforms include a real plan to fix seniors’ care, improve adult vaccinations and protect older people’s finances is a strong way to signal their support and respect for Canada’s most powerful voters: seniors.”
She adds that “these are the things older adults will be looking for when casting their votes on September 20th.”
CanAge is calling on all federal party leaders to:
- Fix seniors’ care
Canada needs a Seniors’ Care Transfer, providing dedicated federal funds to improve long-term care, home care supports, and real steps taken to prevent elder abuse.
- Prioritize vaccinations to keep older Canadians healthy
Vaccines keep seniors safe, but less than 10% of older adults are fully vaccinated due to Canada’s outdated immunization systems. Commit to dramatically increase adult vaccination rates by streamlining processes for reviewing, approving, purchasing and tracking adult vaccines.
- Protect older adults’ financial well-being
Commit to protecting the economic wellbeing of people 50+ by ensuring pensioners are protected from unfair bankruptcy laws, ending mandatory RRIF withdrawals at age 71 and preventing age discrimination against older workers. Our federal leaders must also commit to real financial support for caregivers and home modifications to allow Canadians to age safely in place.
“The good news is that these issues can be addressed with political will. Seniors overwhelmingly vote and these are front-burner election issues for Canadians,” explains Tamblyn Watts. “Parties must address these three issues if they hope to win voters over.”
CanAge’s comprehensive policy book “VOICES: A Roadmap to an Age-Inclusive Canada” makes 135 evidence-based recommendations on these and other pressing issues threatening the rights and well-being of older Canadians.
Leading up to election day, CanAge will be analyzing and commenting on each party platform and how well they address the harsh realities of aging in Canada today.
For more information, visit CanAge.ca/Election21.
Laura Tamblyn Watts
CanAge is Canada’s national seniors’ advocacy organization, working to improve the lives of older adults through advocacy, policy, and community engagement. We are a non-partisan, non-profit organization and backed by a broad pan-Canadian membership base. Find out more.