CARP chapters throughout the province delivered a letter to Premier David Eby on March 1, asking the government to allow the Seniors Advocate’s Monitoring Report to be submitted to the legislature.
Doing so, they say, will help further address ageism and issues seniors are facing.
B.C.’s Seniors Advocate, Isobel Mackenzie’s annual report is submitted to the Ministry of Health, but CARP BC Chief Advocacy & Communications Officer Ramona Kaptyn would like to see Mackenzie’s findings presented to the Select Standing Committee on Health and the full legislature in a move towards more “transparency.”
“She can’t advocate for a specific individual about inadequacies, abuses, lack of responsiveness, anything like that,” Kaptyn said.
“So we’re thinking that if she had more power and the legislature took more notice of what she is reporting, a lot more could be accomplished.”
The letter, which was hand-delivered to Eby, was spear-headed by Doug Jones, president of Vancouver Island’s CARP chapter.
Having Mackenzie as the province’s senior advocate is a great move, Kaptyn said, adding that not all provinces have an advocate to represent older residents.
Seniors in South Surrey and White Rock, where Kaptyn lives, and throughout the province are increasingly experiencing poverty, she said. It’s an issue that has been exacerbated since the pandemic started.
“I was passing by the food bank and saw a friend waiting and she was just mortified that I saw her. But that’s just nothing to be ashamed about,” Kaptyn shared.
“We’re not the forgotten bunch. We should be paid attention to and given the respect that we deserve”
In a press release issued Thursday (March 2) by CARP, the organization draws attention to ageism, noting that it is an issue in the country that is only becoming worse.
Since the letter was given to Eby last Wednesday, the group has yet to hear back.
“We will be following up, we won’t be leaving this alone,” Kaptyn said.