Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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The power seniors wield

Dear Sir

From seniors-only tax breaks to free transit passes, Canadian governments now spend a collective $45,000 a year per senior in Canada compared to $12,000 for those younger than 45, says Paul Kershaw, professor at the University of British Columbia who founded Generation Squeeze, an organization that advocates for generational equity.

Our seniors are viewed as the most vulnerable within our society, and indeed, many seniors lack significant wealth to rely upon their future needs.

On the other hand, some Canadian seniors control billions of dollars in investments, from their homes, stocks and bonds here in Canada and abroad, certainly well over a trillion dollars.

These investments are locked away and often managed by financial advisors and banking concerns. It is believed that billions of dollars have been shored away in banking institutions throughout the world, in offshore accounts. The accounting industry depends upon the senior community to offer approximately 48 percent of its annual business.

The senior lobby[ist] is a powerful force, making up a large portion of financial contributors to various political parties. The senior lobby community has unlimited financial and political sway within the nation using their own media sources to promote their political supporters and their own platforms. They often get what they want, but certainly not always.

With the pandemic upon us, we have seen how the provincial governments of Canada misread senior community needs [within senior homes] both public and private.

The senior community and its powerful lobby, along with the support of their families are bouncing back – telling all governments, public and private management organizations responsible for their care that enough is enough. And quite simply they will not take “mismanagement” of their community homes, “understaffing” and being taken for granted any more.

A militancy within the community is growing, and its financial and political influence will be experienced in many ways. Who will run our national, provincial and municipal governments are now under the magnifying glass of various senior organizations and community groups?

Approximately 12 percent of all Canada’s seniors live in poverty, and seniors’ lobby[ist] have taken note. Pharma-care has become a needed policy that seniors will fight for, and most likely win.

The wealthy and well to do senior is going to fight the Federal government, attempting to drive their land, inheritance and personal wealth taxes lower. Seniors want control of their lives. A massive financial and political shift within Canada may be upon us. The elderly are a mighty, vocal and powerful force that no one can ignore any longer.

Steven Kaszab

Bradford, Ontario



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