"WORK and PLAN WITH SENIORS NOT FOR THEM"
Read the latest COSCO BC Newsletter
The Council of Senior Citizens' Organizations of B.C. has developed many health and safety promotion workshops that are available free of charge to any seniors' group. Each session lasts for approximately 90 minutes and a trained senior facilitator delivers the program.
Including our November 2011 workshop additions.
New rate increases and service cuts will hit seniors hard
"This must be sock it to poor seniors month," Art Kube, President of the 100,000 member B.C. Council of Senior Citizens' Organizations said today.
"First the government slashed the seniors discount on B.C. Ferries by 50 percent. Now it is imposing a cumulative increase of 28.1 percent on BC Hydro rates," said Kube.
"And all of this comes in the same month when seniors are preparing for a 4.1 percent increase in MSP premiums, and health authorities are sending out notices of increases in the cost of residential care," he said. "Access to needed community health services, like home support, continues to decline even though such services could save the public acute care system millions of dollars."
Kube said not all seniors are poor, but many do live on fixed incomes.
"The rate of poverty among seniors, and particularly among women, is increasing at an alarming rate. The government's actions are making it even worse," he said.
"The super-rich will barely notice these fee and rate increases, but while the government proclaims a budget surplus, poor seniors will have to decide which meals they can no longer afford.
"The government should be raising revenues through fair taxes, based on ability to pay, not through fee and rate increases that hit hardest at those who already have the least," he said.
Noting the government is planning to put slot machines on the B.C. Ferries, Kube advised seniors to stay away from them.
"The way the government is running things, you can't win," he said.
The Council of Senior Citizens' Organizations (COSCO) is a federation that represents more than 80 seniors groups with a total of more than 100,000 members in B.C.
Art Kube, 604 576-8000
For people and businesses in communities up and down British Columbia's coast and on some inland lakes, ferry travel is not a luxury but a necessity. Many of the proposed service cuts are unconscionable and extremely short-sighted with negative consequences to those communities in the future.
Funding of the ferry system is simply screwed up – to use a technical term. Where in the world are public transportation systems required to "pay their own way"? Surely this is a good example of a public good that should be subsidized, if not paid entirely by taxpayers through taxes. Having healthy and vibrant communities – urban, suburban, coastal or otherwise is in everyones interest and requires an adequate, appropriate and safe public transportation system!
Seniors are certainly not receiving an unfair advantage by not paying passenger fares during mid-week ferry travel. And we are definetely not engaging in a perverse competition to see who in our society is poorer or more deserving. We are certainly not asking the poor subsidize other poor people.
There is simply is no real additional cost to the Ferry Corporation for not charging seniors/us for travelling in the off-times in the middle of the week. The ships sail regardless. Many seniors still drive on and of course pay for the vehicle and any applicable surcharges. Some seniors will also (though inexplicable to me) enjoy the dining experience and purchase small things in the gift shops. There are some who have to travel to/from medical and other appointments. As well and for example, some senior groups from the Lower Mainland get to go on organized outings (mostly to Victoria) which they would otherwise ill afford. So with added public transportation charges, old people losing their driving priviledges,facing ever increasing user-fees, and pharmacare changes etc. the fixed incomes become stretched beyond limits. Now we are hearing that the debt seniors are taking on is increasing by alarming rates... Staying in touch with families and friends who live on the islands/mainland becomes more and more difficult.
So for today, please print off the petition at this link [Stop BC Ferries service cuts] take it around to your friends, relatives etc. Whether you collect a handfull of signatures or fill several pages, please follow the instructions on the bottom of the petition form.
As you know, the Ombuderspon released an exhaustive report in February 2012 that included comprehensive recommendations for rebuilding BC’s home and community care system. Earlier this year, the Ombudsperson posted a detailed listing of the status of each recommendation. Our report analyzes the actions taken to date by the provincial government in response to the 140 recommendations that were specifically directed to the Ministry of Health. The report finds:
The report was covered extensively in the news. Lead author Marcy Cohen did feature interviews on CBC Radio's Early Edition, on CKNW's Simi Sara show, and CFAX's live show with Pamela McCall, and the story was picked up by other radio stations as well. You can read an excellent story about the report from The Province newspaper here, or inThe Globe and Mail here. Stories are also appearing in newspapers in Kamloops and other communities.
Read the entire report at this link:
Editorial Cartoon in November 9th, 2013 Chronicle Herald
KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON
The Wilderness Committee, a national environmental group based in Vancouver, shared this graphic with The Province, comparing the retail price of bottled paid by consumers and the price paid by gas companies to the B.C. government for millions of litres of water used for hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” operations.
The Wilderness Committee shared this graphic (pdf)
Can you live on $610/month? If you’re on welfare, your $610 monthly cheque leaves you with a food budget of $26/week. During the week of October 16, Welfare Food Challenge participants choose to live on ONLY the food they can buy with $26. Here's the breakdown. — at The Annual Welfare Food Challenge!
“ A timely reminder – thanks to this Greg Perry editorial cartoon from the Toronto Star”
This was Stephen Lewis' clarion call for the world to wake up to the reality of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa and led to the creation of the Foundation that bears his name.
The Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF) works with grassroots organizations that are turning the tide of HIV/AIDS in Africa by providing care and support to women, orphaned children, grandmothers and people living with HIV and AIDS
African grandmothers are central to this effort. With almost no support, they have stepped forward to care for millions of children orphaned by AIDS, sometimes as many as ten to fifteen in one household. They display astonishing reserves of love, courage and emotional resilience, even while grieving the loss of their own adult children.
Discrimination and inequality place a heavy burden on these African grandmothers who are struggling to support communities devastated by HIV and AIDS. African grandmothers deserve better—they deserve justice. The Stephen Lewis Foundation is hosting a people's tribunal to shine a public light on the denial of their human rights, and to issue a call for action.
Six grandmothers from across sub-Saharan Africa will present their personal testimonies before the Tribunal's judges: Gloria Steinem, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, Joy Phumaphi and Theo Sowa. The African Grandmothers Tribunal: Seeking Justice at the Frontlines of the AIDS Crisis will take place at The Chan Centre at UBC, Saturday, September 7 starting at 10:00am.
The grandmothers will speak about the most pressing issues they face, such as property grabbing, loss of housing, sexual violence, and food and income insecurity. Based on their testimonies, the Tribunal will chart a new path forward for advancing African grandmothers' rights. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit africangrandmotherstribunal.org
African women and grandmothers are leading the way, but they cannot – and should not – do it alone. In March 2006, the Stephen Lewis Foundation launched the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign. What began with only a few groups of committed Canadian grandmothers has since evolved into 240 grandmothers groups of grandmothers and grandothers working to raise awareness about the pandemic, mobilize support, and raise funds in Canada for Africa's grandmothers.
Join with us. As activists and seniors, you can lend your support to the Foundation's work in any number of ways:
start or join a Grandmothers group: http://www.stephenlewisfoundation.org/get-involved/grandmothers-campaign
organize an event: http://www.stephenlewisfoundation.org/get-involved/plan-an-event and call us for materials to distribute at 1-888-203-9990
make a donation of stocks, Aeroplan miles, or funds: http://www.stephenlewisfoundation.org/ways-to-give
If you want to learn more about the Foundation and the Grandmothers Campaign, please visit our website www.stephenlewisfoundation.org
OTTAWA – The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) today expressed deep concern with the decision by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to approve subject to conditions the acquisition of Astral Media inc. by Bell Canada Enterprises....
Read the Full Press Release
"I am very disappointed that two of the major parties have failed to respond to questions about where they stand on seniors’ issues," Art Kube, President of the B.C. Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations (COSCO), said today.
Media Advisory: PIAC to represent consumers during
CRTC hearing on mandatory distribution of television services
OTTAWA – In
its continuing efforts to address consumers’ concerns with
television services, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), the
Consumers’ Association of Canada (CAC), the Council of Senior
Citizens’ Organizations of British Columbia (COSCO), and the
National Pensioners and Senior Citizens Federation (NPSCF) will be
appearing before the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications
Commission (CRTC) to discuss the applications for mandatory
distribution on cable and satellite distribution systems. The
eight-day long hearing begins on Tuesday, April 23 at 9:00 AM.
PIAC/CAC/COSCO/NPSCF will appear on Friday, April 26, 2013.
information, please see the full written intervention filed by
PIAC/CAC/COSCO/NPSCF to the CRTC on February 27, 2013 at:
Janet Lo, Legal
Counsel at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre will be at the
at the CRTC public proceeding “Applications for mandatory
distribution on cable and satellite distribution systems pursuant to
section 9(1)(h) of the Broadcasting Act”
Portage IV, 140, Promenade du
will be able to listen to a live audio feed of the hearing and by
going to http://www.crtc.gc.ca
PIAC is a
non-profit organization that provides legal and research services on
behalf of consumer interests, and, in particular, vulnerable consumer
interests, concerning the provision of important public services.
Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)
Mobile (613) 816-5688
As our members know, BC has the highest poverty rate in Canada, and is now one of only two provinces left without a poverty reduction plan. In the leadup to the election, the Poverty Reduction Coalition is hosting a conversation for people who want to call on candidates for strong leadership on poverty reduction. If you’re concerned about low wages, low welfare rates, the housing crisis, skyrocketing child care fees, the inaccessibility of education, the lack of essential health care, and marginalized groups in BC come and join the conversation about what we can do to address these critical issues.
Tuesday, March 19, 12:00 – 1:30 PM
More information and registration on the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition website.
Our government continues to sell the birth rights of our grandchildren for a mess of pottage to pay for past tax decreases and to balance the budget." according to Art Kube, COSCO's President.
We received the following presentations with thanks to the participants who enabled us to make the Conference “The Joy and Tears of Living Longer” a resounding success. Hardly necessary, but we remind visitors to the website and this information- that the presentations were dynamic and not always strictly according to the text.
All 13 presentations are in PDF format
Summary of the “Be it resolved” portion of resolutions submitted to the October 2012 Conference, Richmond, B.C.
The Council of Senior Citizens Organizations (COSCO) and the BC Coalition of People with Disabilities BCCPD) applaud the TransLink Board for reversing its plan to
eliminate the TaxiSaver Program.
We congratulate the organizations and individuals who worked hard to
show TransLink why Taxisavers are so important to the dignity and independence of seniors and people with disabilities.
By truly listening to the voices of people who use TaxiSavers and acting
on what it heard the Translink Board has demonstrated that it values community consultation.
We are encouraged that in the future TransLink will continue to engage
in true community consultation when it develops plans that impact people with disabilities and seniors.
Lorraine Logan, COSCO
Jane Dyson, Executive Director of B.C. Coalition of People with Disabilities
Harper 2005: "My government will fully preserve Old Age Security".
The B.C. Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations has expressed profound disappointment in the Harper government’s plan to raise the retirement age and thereby undermine the financial security of thousands of Canadians.
"Canada’s public pension system is already among the stingiest in the developed nations of the world," said Gudrun Langolf, first vice president of COSCO.
Millennium of Achievements
by Marika Morris, CRIAW Research Coordinator
A thousand years ago only certain cultures, such as the Mohawk, offered women any kind of equality, such as matrilineal descent and the choosing of chiefs.
Today,just like one thousand years ago, some women around the world are still sold into prostitution, forced to marry against their will, have no right or access to birth control or abortion, have little access to education, and are completely economically dependent on men.
However, Canadian women have also made significant gains over the last millennium, and particularly over the past 100 years:
In 1897, after a very long fight, Clara Brett Martin became Canada's first lawyer and the first woman to practice law in the entire British Empire. She overcame editorials opposing women lawyers on the grounds that the physical attraction between them and the judges and juries would be intolerable; She lobbied for a bill in the Ontario legislature that would overturn the Law Society of Upper Canada's regulations barring women because only "persons" could be admitted.
The BC Health Coalition and advocates across B.C. are urging the province to fully implement the BC Ombudsperson's recommendations for better seniors' care outlined in her recently released final report.
The report, titled The Best of Care: Getting It Right for Seniors in British Columbia (Part 2), makes 176 recommendations to improve quality and access to care for seniors in the province's home and community care services. It outlines measures for improving quality, accessibility, and accountability in home and community care, in particular for home support services, assisted living, and residential care.
The COSCO Seniors' Health & Wellness Institute developed these:
ADVOCACY FOR CAREGIVERS, ADVANCE CARE PLANNING AND ADVANCEDIRECTIVES, HANDLING MONEY, HEARING, HOUSING, KNOWING YOURBLADDER, LIFE WITHOUT DRIVING, PEDESTRIAN SAFETY, PERSONAL PLANNING,MATURE DRIVING WORKSHOP, SENIOR SEXUALITY, SLEEP, STAYING FIT AT HOME,STROKE, TECHNOLOGY AND AGING, VISION, CHAIR YOGA
For more detailed description of each workshop please go to more information
To book or enquire about a workshop - contact Sheila Pither by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
2012 BC Budget News Release
"Today’s budget represents a major disappointment for B.C. seniors – especially in light of the Ombudsperson’s recommendations to strengthen home support, and increase care hours in long-term care facilities," says Art Kube, President of the 80,000 member Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations of B.C. (COSCO).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 14, 2012
The B.C. Council of Seniors today welcomed Premier Christy Clark’s promise to improve services for seniors, but cautioned that actions speak louder than words. “For the last decade, this government has implemented a ‘seniors’ agenda’ that has created misery for thousands of elderly citizens in our province,” said Art Kube, President of the 80,000 member Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations of B.C. (COSCO).
Read full article(pdf)