Welcome to the latest issue of CARP Action Online!

CARP

August 27, 2014


 
Minister Fantino's Parting Letter

Julian Fantino has been named Associate Minister of National Defense and Alice Wong will now be occupying the position of Minister of State for Seniors. He has written a letter to CARP to thank us for working alongside him during his tenure. Click here to read the letter
 
No flies on us! CARP’s first contact with the new Minister of State for Seniors

CARP has already had the opportunity to make inroads with Alice Wong, the newly minted minister of state for seniors. White Rock/Surrey chapter chair Jack Mar and board member Denice Thompson were at the Richmond Focus on Seniors Expo yesterday where they were approached by the new Minister. Read more
 
CARP welcomes new Minister of State for Seniors and looks forward to her to champion the cause of older Canadians in new Parliament to act promptly on election promises.
TORONTO, ON: CARP wanted to be among the first to welcome the Honourable Alice Wong, the new Minister of State for Seniors and to brief her on the issues which CARP has raised with her predecessors and which in fact were addressed during the recent election. CARP released its open letter to Minister and its briefing on CARP’s priority issues. Read more
 
Libby Znaimer's Interview with Alice Wong, the New Minister of State for Seniors
Listen to Libby Znaimer’s Interview with Alice Wong
 
Message to CARP members from Ontario Minister of Transportation

Greetings CARP Members

Last Wednesday, I was pleased to attend the historic launch of CARP’s downtown Toronto chapter and to bring greetings on behalf of our Premier Dalton McGuinty as well as talk to you about some issues that are important to you and CARP.

CARP’s work to promote and protect the interests, rights and quality of life for Canadians as we age has cemented its deserved reputation as a leader in effective advocacy – I applaud each and every member for their outstanding contributions. Read more

 
Accountability in City Government: The City of Toronto's Ombudsman

Municipal government has a responsibility to provide services that are fair to all of its communities. As part of that accountability, the Ombudsman was established by the City of Toronto Act, which assures that this office is independent. My role is to provide a ‘check and balance’ – to even the playing field between citizens and their government. Read more
 
CARP welcomes Ontario Conservative promise to remove HST on Home Energy – but should target lower income seniors
CARP members would welcome the HST relief promised by Tim Hudak, Leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party in today’s announcement but not at the expense of other public services. Relief should be targeted at those who need it the most. Read more
 
The Ontario Progressive Conservative Party is hoping that Ontarians are up for a change, come election time
Today, the Ontario PCP released its $7.2 billion election platform, called Change Book, which focuses on reducing energy costs, lowering a number of taxes, and maintaining investments in healthcare and education. The plan foresees the $16.7 billion budget deficit being wiped out by 2017-18, the same year as the Liberals have forecast. Older voters and multigenerational families, however, were targeted with a number of policies proposals. Read more
 


 
Counsel from prominent Canadians
With Prime Minister Stephen Harper having secured the majority he wanted, Carmen Chai asks some influential people what advice they would give him at this point


Dear Prime Minister Harper, there has been unprecedented attention paid in this election to issues that resonate with older Canadians. Every party made promises to address pension reform, caregiver support, poverty among pensioners and elder abuse. Such consensus should let Parliament move quickly on these pressing issues. Read more

 
Susan Eng's Open Letter to the Prime Minister
Your promises to eliminate mandatory retirement and increase sentencing for elder abuse are long overdue protections for the rights of older Canadians and should be the first order of business. Health care reform is your next major challenge and CARP members consistently call for restructuring public service delivery rather than increasing taxes, imposing user fees or cutting services. Home care, primary health care teams, chronic disease management, bulk purchasing of drugs and fending off demands to extend drug patent protection are opportunities to contain costs and ensure adequate funding for necessary public services. Read more
 
Nations must better adapt to greying world: Report

Nations need to improve on their long-term care strategies to accommodate a growing demand for eldercare services as the world's population of seniors steadily increases, a new Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development report says. The latest OECD report, released Wednesday, told its 34 member countries — which include Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia — to consider new policies that would fight high turnover for professional caregivers and help informal caregivers, such as family and friends. Read more
 
Wong a big step up from Fantino: NDP critic
“Every party made promises to address pension reform, caregiver support, eliminating poverty among pensioners and dealing with elder abuse. And now that there is a strong majority government with an official Opposition party that was even more expansive on those promises, there will be no excuse for not acting on these pressing issues. ” Read more
 
Parliamentary budget officer calls Canada's population an age-old problem
Now that the Conservatives have their majority, they need to figure out how Canada is going to cope with an aging population before it's too late to avoid serious economic harm, says the country's fiscal watchdog. Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page says the government has so far failed to confront the enormous health-care, pension and productivity implications that are no longer a long-term discussion but an immediate issue. Read more
 


 
Budget and Throne Speech
‘Nobody likes surprise’s was a constant reminder by Prime Minster Stephen Harper on the campaign trail. His promise to Canadians was that if elected with a majority, the conservatives would reinstate the budget tabled before the election was called and proceed with a steady, predictable hand. Re-appointed Finance Minister Jim Flaherty told the CBC that "While minor tweaks and adjustments will be presented, this will almost exclusively restate all the same commitments made two months ago in the budget, along with some platform commitments". Read more
 
If you experience problems completing the survey, please fill it in here.
Throne Speech Poll
The Governor General will read the Speech from the Throne, laying out the government’s priorities for the year, on Friday June 3. Among the proposals the government has promised to include is a privately-administered, voluntary Pooled Retirement Pension Plan (PRPP) to offer pension plans to those without them. CARP has called for more. What would you most like to see included in the Throne Speech on this issue?

PRPPs, as promised

PRPPs, and enhancements to CPP

Publicly-administered pension option as well as PRPPs

Publicly-administered pension option instead of PRPPs

Publicly-administered pension option instead of PRPPs, enhance CPP

Just double CPP

Publicly-administered pension option instead of PRPPs, double CPP

OTHER

DON’T KNOW

How important is it to you that the government supports your position on this issue?

Extremely important

Very important

Important

Not very important

Not at all important

DON’T KNOW

If the government doesn’t support your position on this issue, will you support the opposition’s efforts to force the government to improve their offering?

Yes

No

DON’T KNOW

Another proposal the government promised to include was a $300 annual non-refundable tax-credit for family caregivers. CARP has called for more. What would you most like to see included in the Throne Speech?

$300 annual non-refundable caregiver tax credit, as promised

$1500 annual refundable caregiver tax credit

Extend compassionate EI care allowance to 6 months

Tax credit/forgivable loan to retrofit home for care recipient

OTHER

DON’T KNOW

How important is it to you that the government supports your position on this issue?

Extremely important

Very important

Important

Not very important

Not at all important

DON’T KNOW

If the government doesn’t support your position on this issue, will you support the opposition’s efforts to force the government to improve their offering?

Yes

No

DON’T KNOW

Another proposal the government promised to include was a one time annual boost of $300 million to the GIS for the very poorest seniors, amounting to $600 per year per single senior and $840 per couple. CARP has called for more. What would you most like to see included in the Throne Speech?

$300 million boost to GIS, as promised

$700 million annual boost to GIS, for all seniors who receive GIS

Spend whatever it takes to lift all seniors out of poverty

OTHER

DON’T KNOW

How important is it to you that the government supports your position on this issue?

Extremely important

Very important

Important

Not very important

Not at all important

DON’T KNOW

If the government doesn’t support your position on this issue, will you support the opposition’s efforts to force the government to improve their offering?

Yes

No

DON’T KNOW

Another proposal the government has promised to include is a $40 million fund to offer up to $40,000 in debt forgiveness to family doctors and up to $20,000 to nurses if they practice in underserved areas. CARP has called for more. What would you most like to see included in the Throne Speech?

$40 million debt-forgiveness fund, as promised

$400 million fund to train 1200 doctors and 20,000 nurses

OTHER

DON’T KNOW

How important is it to you that the government supports your position on this issue?

Extremely important

Very important

Important

Not very important

Not at all important

DON’T KNOW

If the government doesn’t support your position on this issue, will you support the opposition’s efforts to force the government to improve their offering?

Yes

No

DON’T KNOW

Which one issue do you think needs to be dealt with first, and therefore SHOULD be the centerpiece of the Speech from the Throne?

Deficit/debt reduction

Job creation/growth

Infrastructure/stimulus

Pension reform

Health care negotiations

Afghanistan/Libya

Poverty

Home care/long term care

Taxes

OTHER

Which one issue do you think is MOST LIKELY to be the centerpiece of the Speech from the Throne?

Deficit/debt reduction

Job creation/growth

Infrastructure/stimulus

Pension reform

Health care negotiations

Afghanistan/Libya

Poverty

Home care/long term care

Taxes

OTHER

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will present the Budget on Monday, June 6. While this budget will be the same as that tabled on March 22, there are some additions. The government has promised to phase out the $2 per-vote political subsidy each party gets, starting with this budget. How much do you agree this is a good idea?

Agree strongly

Agree

Disagree

Disagree strongly

DON’T KNOW

Another provision will give Quebec $2 billion in return for harmonizing their sales tax with the GST, an action they took years ago. How much do you agree this is a good idea?

Agree strongly

Agree

Disagree

Disagree strongly

DON’T KNOW

Older Canadians helped deliver the votes which gave the government its majority. How much do you agree that, in return, older Canadians should expect the government to fulfill the promises they made on pensions, caregivers, health care and the GIS?

Agree strongly

Agree

Disagree

Disagree strongly

DON’T KNOW

As the Official Opposition in a majority government, the NDP has limited influence on which bills get passed, and must focus their efforts proposing changes and convincing Parliament as a whole to help make those changes. Which ONE issue do you think the opposition should focus on during this parliament?

Pension reform

Increasing the GIS/OAS

Doubling CPP

Health care negotiations with the provinces

Long term care/home care

More family doctors/nurses

Eliminating poverty among seniors

Deficit/debt reduction

Jobs/growth

OTHER

The Prime Minister has appointed a new Minister of State for Seniors, Alice Wong of Richmond BC. How much influence do you think The Hon. Ms. Wong will have with the government.

A great deal of influence

Some influence

Not very much influence

No influence at all

DON’T KNOW

Now that the government has been elected with a majority, how willing are you to use direct contact methods such as CARP’s E-Voice and e-mails to your MP to ensure the government keeps its promises?

I do this already

Extremely willing

Very willing

Willing

Not very willing

Not at all willing

DON’T KNOW

Now that Bob Rae has been appointed the Interim Leader, who do you think would make the best permanent leader for the Liberal Party?

Justin Trudeau

Marc Garneau

Ralph Goodale

Dominic Leblanc

Bob Rae

John Manley

OTHER

DON’T KNOW

If a federal election were held tomorrow, which party’s candidate would you support?

Conservative

Liberal

NDP

Green Party

Bloc Quebecois

OTHER

UNDECIDED

How old are you?

Less than 45

45 to 54

55 to 64

65 to 74

75 or older

Where do you live?

Newfoundland

Nova Scotia

PEI

New Brunswick

Quebec

Ontario

Manitoba

Saskatchewan

Alberta

BC/Territories

What is your gender?

Male

Female

What is your household income before taxes, including all investments and pensions?

Less than $20K

$20K to $39K

$40K to $59K

$60K to $79K

$80K to $99K

$100K or more

PREFER NOT TO ANSWER

  [See Results]

Previous Issues of CARP Action Online

May 13th 2011
April 29th 2011
April 16th 2011
April 11th 2011
March 30th 2011
March 22, 2011
March 11th 2011

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CARP Post Election Poll Report

Members are evenly split on whether they are satisfied or dissatisfied with the results of the federal election, but majorities agree a Conservative majority government will be good for Canada and that the NDP will make an effective opposition. Members disagree that the Liberals and NDP should explore a merger.

While members approve of the focus given issues of interest to older Canadians in the Conservative budget and platform, they insist it is important for the government to enhance these program offerings to at least the level offered by the opposition parties during the campaign. Read more

 


 
How Does The CARP Poll™ Stack Up?
May 30, 2011: The day before the last election and this one, CARP polled its members on their preferences. How did these final polls match the actual election results? Read more
 

 


 
Taxing Questions: What to Make of BC’s HST Debate
It’s difficult to know what to make of all this: since the HST was introduced economists, politicians, former premiers, think-tanks, commentators, columnists, taxation experts and members of the public have all weighed in and it seems that amidst all the noise there is no consensus to take to the bank. What’s more, there is a deep sense of distrust with the way the politicians have handled the HST. At the outset, the BC Liberals had said they would not bring in the HST. But once elected, they implemented it anyway. They also oversold the HST, relying heavily on a report from Calgary economist Jack Mintz who said that it would trigger 113, 000 new, “better-paying jobs”. Now, it turns out that the government-appointed panel has undermined several of the government’s selling points for the HST. Read more
 
Caregiver's Diary: Another Journey Begins

My wife has been dealing with her own father's esophageal cancer. In her own words:

The first time you hear the word ‘Palliative’ it gives you a start. My Dad and I heard it the first time after his radiation treatments for esophageal cancer had concluded. Dad was still tired and had some stomach discomfort a month after the treatments and his radiologist didn’t think it was the radiation effects doing it. But he couldn’t be sure. At any rate, he had done what he could for Dad, who, at 88, was not a candidate for surgery or chemo, and now was referring him to another doctor at the hospital where he was being treated: a Palliative Care Specialist. Her name came on a card, which he handed us. It was in black and white, the word “Palliative” clear and impressive. She would be Dad’s contact from now on. Did we have any questions? Read more

 
Limited Returns on Investment with Expensive Private Sector Pensions
Australian Pension Study finds that high fees and costs of private sector pension plans seriously limit investment returns for pensioners

A new study, called Redesigning Choice and Competition in Australian Superannuation, has found that the high fees and costs of private sector pension plans in Australia seriously limit investment returns for pensioners. All the more reason for a public option and real competition. The Australian Superannuation model was founded on the assumption that market competition will deliver economic efficiency in a largely private, defined contribution system. The report, commissioned by the government of Australia, shows that while total assets in the system have grown substantially through contributions, net earning from investments were relatively low. Read more
 
Historic Toronto Chapter Launch

The launch of the downtown Toronto CARP Chapter exceeded all expectations as close to 500 CARP members and others interested in our "New Vision of Aging for Canada" joined on the campus of U of T last Wednesday evening. Interim Downtown Toronto Chapter Chair, Adina Lebo was delighted at the turn out, as she shared her vision for the Chapter and the many projects and plans her Board already has in the works... as she solicited the support of members to fulfill those plans. Read more
 
Radio News Story about CARP Toronto Chapter Launch
Listen to the Radio News Story on the Dowtown Toronto Chapter Launch
 
Watching Out For Ontario's Most Vulnerable Seniors
McGuinty Government Develops Silver Advisory, Seniors With Dementia Better Protected


Ontario is developing a program to help quickly find seniors with Alzheimer's and other cognitive impairments when they are missing. The program will establish a standard province-wide model that communities can use to alert the public when vulnerable seniors go missing and may be in danger. The program will be the first of its kind in Canada. Read more
 
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