The utter indifference by all levels of government to the well-being of our senior citizens during this COVID-19 pandemic is a national disgrace. It proves beyond a doubt that systemic ageism is deeply entrenched in our halls of power.
Since many seniors have serious health care needs unique to their demographic, they certainly deserve to be high on the priority list with any kind of financial relief package from Premier Horgan and Prime Minister Trudeau during this global crisis. But they were not even mentioned in the long list of recipients of financial support in B.C.’s COVID-19 Action Plan.
And, buried at the bottom of Ottawa’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, amongst pages of financial assistance promised to workers, businesses, Indigenous communities, the homeless and women’s shelters, low-income seniors received no monetary assistance at all, just a reduction in the required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds.
Our political leaders love to perpetuate the myth that all seniors are living the high life on their fancy retirement investments. They conveniently ignore the terrible reality of many seniors living in poverty in this rich country. Those elders deserve a part of the pie at this critical time.
Doreen Marion Gee