Seniors support discussed at Delta town hall meeting

All three levels of government were on hand for a seniors town hall meeting in Ladner on Nov. 10.

A comprehensive survey of Delta seniors on housing issues indicates that most are satisfied with their current situation

Over one hundred seniors took advantage of the opportunity to attend the inaugural seniors town hall meeting on Nov. 10 at the Ladner Community Centre.

All three levels of government were represented on the panel of four, which was a first according to organizers. Delta North MLA Scott Hamilton, Delta South MLA Vicki Huntington and Delta Mayor Lois Jackson were also in attendance.

Carla Qualtrough, MP for Delta and minister of sport and persons with disabilities, focused on federal initiatives for seniors and presented an overview of Canada’s seniors. Qualtrough said that although Canada has the youngest senior population in relation to other G7 countries, it is expected to age more rapidly.

B.C. Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie spoke next. B.C. is the only province in Canada that has a seniors’ advocate, whose mandate includes monitoring seniors’ services and issues, and making recommendations to government and service providers. Mackenzie spoke about the key issues facing seniors and the provincial resources and projects that are there to help.

Delta Coun. Sylvia Bishop, chair of Delta’s seniors advisory subcommittee and ML Burke, chair of the seniors housing subcommittee and member of the Delta Seniors Planning Team, also made presentations, including the results from the Seniors 55+ Housing Survey.

Conducted by the Delta Seniors Planning Team at the request of the Corporation of Delta, the survey’s goal was to give the municipality insight into seniors’ housing needs to better plan and implement age-friendly communities. The survey showed that 43 per cent of Delta seniors felt the housing they need is not available.

The panelists took a number of questions from the floor, including one about the feasibility of building tiny homes to create seniors communities. It was suggested by the asker that such dwellings could be economical in both cost and land usage, would enable many seniors to live in their own homes and could include a shared community centre for social activities and events and perhaps even laundry facilities.

“I look forward to hearing about specific housing solutions and when they will be implemented,” Rabi Alam, president of the Senior Liberals Commission of Canada in B.C., told the Reporter. “While there was an abundance of good information presented today, some seniors felt that it was information overload.”

Alam said seniors are looking for solutions to the rising cost of rent, food, health and Pharmacare, as well as the elder abuse that can affect both seniors in care facilities and those who live at home.

“There are three types of seniors,” Alam said. “[First,there are] the very poor, whose sole income is their monthly Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Pension cheques.

“[There are the] marginal seniors who don’t qualify for any subsidies,” Alum continued. “While they have saved for retirement, increased living and health care costs steadily eat away at their limited resources. They are neither wealthy nor [are they] poor enough to qualify for subsidies to offset these increased costs.

“[Lastly, there are] well-off pensioners don’t have financial issues. They are healthy enough to help other seniors if and when governments develop programs to harness the many and varied skill sets of such seniors.”

Alam said he was pleased when, at the meeting’s conclusion, Jackson asked him to organize a seniors town hall for North Delta early in 2017, suggesting the Kennedy Seniors Recreation Centre as a possible venue. He said he also looks forward to organizing a Surrey seniors town hall sometime in April, potentially in Surrey-Newton.

For more about the Nov. 10 seniors town hall and the information that was presented, visit federalslcbc.ca/blog.

Just Posted

Surrey woman’s ‘tell-all’ book aims to help those struggling with domestic violence

Second book details abusive marriage, how people failed her

Surrey district cop station closed by sewer backup

People seeking criminal records checks and other services can get help at any of the other stations

SURREY EVENTS GUIDE for Sept. 19 and beyond

Concerts, festivals, plays and more in our weekly calendar

Supportive housing opponent says 110-year-old document should prevent development

Proposed site for Cloverdale project is on land gifted to city by Joseph Shannon in 1908

Giant-Hawk name swap for Major Midget League hockey teams

League leaders last year, Valley West squad starts season on the road this weekend

VIDEO: Messages of hope, encouragement line bars of B.C. bridge

WARNING: This story contains references to suicide and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

Fresh-faced Flames fend off Canucks 4-1

Vancouver drops second straight NHL exhibition contest

VIDEO: B.C. deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Scheer pushes Trudeau to re-start Energy East pipeline talks

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer questioned the Prime Minister over Trans Mountain project

Mistaken identity: Missing dog claimed in Moose Jaw belongs to another family

Brennen Duncan was reunited with a white Kuvasz that was found in Saskatchewan

Abandoned kitten safe and sound thanks to B.C. homeless man

‘Jay’ found little black-and-white kitten in a carrier next to a dumpster by a Chilliwack pet store

Police chief defends controversial marijuana seizure

Advocates said cannabis was part of an opioid-substitution program in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Trans Mountain completes Burrard Inlet spill exercise

Training required, some work continues on pipeline expansion

Supporters of B.C. man accused of murdering Belgian tourist pack courtoom

Family and friends of Sean McKenzie, 27, filled the gallery for brief court appearance in Chilliwack

Most Read