OPEN LETTER: It’s time for the Liberal government to step up and protect vulnerable pensioners

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau and Ministers Freeland, Champagne and Khera,

We are writing on behalf of the more than 4.3 million Canadians who rely on defined benefit pensions to urge the Liberal government to take action on pension protection.

The NDP’s Daniel Blaikie and the CPC’s Marilyn Gladu recently introduced two bills (C-225 and C-228, respectively) to protect defined benefit pensions. These bills build on the success of the Bloc’s Marilène Gill’s Bill C-253 in the last parliament. While each bill is different, each seeks to mitigate the risk of pension loss by putting pensioners closer to the front of the line when a company goes bankrupt.  

Under current Canadian insolvency laws, banks eat first.

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by Kalie Dutchak

CNPEA is always on the lookout for new developments and programs that support healthy and safe aging across the country. In this blog post, we shine a light on recent developments on Prince Edward Island.

Kalie Dutchak interviewed local and national advocate for seniors Olive Bryanton to learn more about new initiatives that aim to better serve the older adult population and address ageism in P.E.I. communities.

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MPP Lindsey Park has introduced Bill 104, Connected Communities Act, 2022. The Bill requires the Government of Ontario "to maintain a strategy that aims to reduce instances of loneliness and social isolation in Ontario and support persons who may be struggling with loneliness or social isolation.The Act provides one year for the development of an initial strategy and requires the Government of Ontario to subsequently review the strategy at least once every five years. Consultations are required when developing or reviewing the strategy."

CNPEA welcomes this private Members' bill, after witnessing the devastating impact of loneliness and social isolation on older Canadians across the country. ''Social isolation and loneliness have skyrocketed during the pandemic. This has affected our collective mental and physical health and left too many older Canadians in distress and vulnerable to abuse and neglect.'' says Executive Director, Bénédicte Schoepflin. "CNPEA is thrilled to see that MPP Lindsay Park's private Members' bill aims to tackle this significant issue and give it the attention it deserves. We all need to feel like we belong. It is time to foster social inclusion, across the lifecourse."

February 23, 2022 is Pink Shirt Day, a global movement to stand up to bullying and promote kindness. Bullying does not only affect kids and teens, it can happen to anyone, including older people.

For this reason, in 2020, CNPEA and A&O: Support Services for Older Adults launched the anti-bullying social media campaign #PinkShirtDayForAll to help raise awareness of bullying of older adults. This year, we are teaming up with Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario to keep the momentum going and celebrate Pink Shirt Day.

Bullying awareness and prevention activities have been traditionally aimed at younger generations, even though the behaviours occur across the life course. Bullying (also known as harassment) happens when a person or a group of people hurts, threatens, or scares a peer, either on purpose or unintentionally. Bullying is usually a repeated pattern of behaviours. People who experience bullying often have a difficult time defending themselves.

recent Canadian study by the Centre for Elder Research identified that

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By Kalie Dutchak
kalie dutchak headshot

My name is Kalie Dutchak, and I am currently in my fourth year of the Bachelor of Social Work program at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta. I am spending time at Sage Seniors Association for my final semester's practicum. I am primarily working at the safe house shelter for older adults but am also participating in and learning about some of the other programming that Sage has to offer. One group I am co-facilitating is the weekly coffee group for older adults, in which a small group gathers over a cup of coffee to connect through conversation. Thanks to my supervisor, Michele Markham, I have been learning a lot and have also been connected to the CNPEA. 

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