May 24th, 2024

Where’sthe help for seniors?

By Letter to the Editor on April 23, 2020.

What about seniors? With everything going on regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, I have not seen much financial support for seniors. Yes, the federal government set aside $9 million to be administered by the United Way to help seniors during this crisis. With 6.6 million seniors in Canada, that works out to $1.36 per senior.

I might have missed it, but I have not seen or heard anything from the provinces. Admittedly a lot of seniors are retired and receiving CPP and OAS and some also receiving the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). Seniors who are still working and are laid off, I am guessing will qualify for some compensation from the hundreds of billions being spent to help businesses and working Canadians survive this crushing economic crisis.

With the economy collapsing, driven by businesses being forced to close to stop the spread of COVID-19, seniors’ retirement investment took a real hit. This, in turn, may force seniors to reduce their retirement income to avoid depleting their capital, I know I had to. The Government of Canada, recognizing current market conditions may impact many seniors’ retirement savings, the bill reduces minimum withdrawals from RRIFs for 2020 by 25 per cent.

As an individual citizen and especially if you’re a senior, it is difficult to get politicians to hear you, never mind respond to your concerns. I am especially disappointed in the media; they are the ones that have access to both federal and provincial leaders to ask the tough questions. I have not heard even one question asked, “What about seniors?” regarding helping them out financially and I watch a lot of news; not much else to do.

With the trillions that this pandemic will cost our economy, businesses and citizens and the crushing debt that all levels of government are taking on, I hate to ask for anything more. I am old and will be dead before our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren will be able to pay off this debt. We need help, too.

Barrie Orich


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