Welcome to a special election edition
of CARP Action Online! We are in full election mode and want to update you on
the latest developments. Please check our special Election 2008 page on the
web site: http://www.carp.ca/election08/
to keep tabs on what we're doing.
14.5 million Canadians are 45 years of age or more -- a full
42% of the Canadian population. We call them Zoomers -- Boomers with zip.
During this federal election, CARP Advocacy has focused on making
sure that the federal parties pay attention to the issues that matter to our
members and all Zoomers.
Dear Mr. Prime Minister
In the launch issue of Zoomer magazine, Susan Eng, CARP Vice
President of Advocacy, challenged the Prime Minister to step up to the plate
and address the issues that affect Zoomers stating, "This is a demographic that is looking for iconoclastic leadership. The opportunity to provide it is right
in front of you." A copy of that column may be found at: http://www.carp.ca/election08/Oct%20Eng.pdf
Zoomer magazine is delivered to
200,000 households across Canada and hit the newsstands this week.
A Politician's Advantage -- Knowing How to Count
On Wednesday September 17th, CARP hosted a news conference to
inform political candidates that Zoomers are the largest and most politically
engaged Canadians -- 70% of us vote regularly and in 2004, we cast nearly 9
million votes, or 64% of all votes cast in that election. Politicians cannot
afford to ignore this vote -- rich demographic. They must address our election
1. Universal Family Caregiver Benefit -- a
refundable caregiver tax credit to support the estimated 5 million Canadians
caring for loved ones at home.
2. Universal Pension Plan for the 1 in 3 Canadians
without retirement savings and substantial increases to Old Age Security
[OAS], Canada Pension Plan [CPP] and Guaranteed Income Supplements [GIS]
for low and fixed income seniors.
3. Elimination of Mandatory Retirement for
840, 000 Canadians working in federally regulated industries.
4. a strategy to Keep Older Workers including
training, anti-ageism in the workplace and phased retirement.
5. Better Health Care through wait times guarantees,
national health standards and pharmacare.
The news conference was webcast live so that our members and
chapters could participate with any questions or feedback. The
webcast was recorded and may be viewed on our home page www.carp.ca.
Webcasts will become a regular feature of CARP Advocacy so please stay tuned.
Harold Brathwaite, Executive Director of the Retired Teachers
of Ontario as well as Nadine Henningsen of the Canadian Caregiver Coalition
came out in support of CARP's priority demands. Also in attendance were Green
party candidates Marion Schaffer, Ellen Michelson, Sharon Howarth and Wayne
Scott as well as NDP Member of Parliament, Olivia Chow.
Question for Leaders' Debate October 1st and 2nd
CARP submitted a question
for the National Leaders' Debate to be held October 1st and 2nd asking for their
response to our call for a Universal Family Caregiver Benefit. Specifically,
CARP asked the parties to commit to a Universal Family Caregiver Benefit to
support the Family Caregiver that mirrors the Universal Child Care Benefit.
Here's what we said:
It is estimated that
there are 5 million Canadians caring for loved ones at home. A disproportionate
number of these people are women and visible minorities. The current system
of financial supports for Family Caregivers is inadequate and falls far behind
what is available in other developed countries.
the need to support families with young children and similarly expect the same
value to be placed on caring for loved ones later in life.
CARP recommends that
there be a Universal Family Caregiver Benefit to support the Family Caregiver
and to allow people to stay in their homes as they age. The benefit should mirror
the Universal Child Care Benefit currently provided to Canadian families with
Will the political
parties commit to introducing a Universal Family Caregiver Benefit that mirrors
the Universal Child Care Benefit?
If you agree, please email
this text or your own question to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The media consortium that organized the debate have set up this address to hear
from the public. Also, please send a blind copy of the e-mail to email@example.com
so we can track how many caregiver questions are submitted.
Federal parties ignoring 64% of voters by not addressing
their priorities such as support for family caregivers
We reviewed the party platforms and announcements to date and
found that the federal parties were ignoring 64% of voters by not addressing
their priorities. On Wednesday September 23rd, we issued a news release with
a critique of their platforms and called for better support for family caregivers.
here to view our news release.
Flaherty and Clement Open to CARP Priorities
We are also taking our message
directly to the politicians and they are listening. In an exclusive interview
on 96.3 FM, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty declared himself a Zoomer and was
the first federal politician to state he was open to CARP's top priority demands.
here to view our news release and to listen to Minister Flaherty's remarks.
Health Minister Tony Clement
voiced his support for a National Pharmacare program but cautioned that he would
have to negotiate with the provinces.
On Thursday, September 25th,
CARP issued a questionnaire to all the major parties asking them to address
our election priorities. The questionnaire was sent to the headquarters of the
five major political parties and we have requested replies by October 1st --
the United Nations International Day of Older Persons [for more information:
Replies will be posted for
your review on http://www.carp.ca/election08/
as they arrive as well as reported in special election editions of CARP Action
Online. Please click
here for our news release and a copy of the questionnaire.
Please feel free to raise
the questions posed in our questionnaire to the candidates who come to your
door. You can also contact the campaign offices of all the candidates in your
riding. Go to: http://www.elections.ca/intro.asp?document=index&lang=e§ion=pol
and enter your postal code for the list of the candidates and their phone numbers
[email addresses are not listed].
Please take a minute to
answer our poll and let us know if there are other issues that concern you in
this election at firstname.lastname@example.org.