For Immediate Release
15 November 2023
NDP Leader Jim Dinn (St. John’s Centre) is calling on government to focus on the well-being of seniors. The call comes after a report by the Seniors’ Advocate, titled “What Golden Years?” documented how seniors in this province are struggling to access the basics of everyday life such as food, shelter, transportation, and home care.
“The findings of the report should be a wake-up call to government. How is it possible for the provincial government to let the well-being of our seniors deteriorate to the abysmal reality they’re living right now?” questioned Dinn. “It was particularly concerning to see the issues raised by the Advocate are the same issues that were dismissed by government ministers when I raised them, like unchecked rent increases far above what would be considered affordable and reasonable, or what was labelled as ‘cost of living relief cheques’ bringing anything but relief to many seniors in this province,” Dinn said.
The NDP is calling on the provincial government to act immediately to institute rent and vacancy control and fund a needs-based homecare program. We must give seniors what they are owed for giving a lifetime of work and dedication to their families and communities. Dinn says it is government’s duty to address the needs of seniors and not treat them like a budget line item to be trimmed.
Announcing a four-point poverty reduction plan but leaving out the fourth point – which is services for seniors - shows that government is tone-deaf when it comes to the concerns of this rapidly aging demographic.
“This government must recognize that we owe our seniors the supports they need to age in place and enjoy their retirement,” said Dinn. Seniors are seeing their pension benefits erode and the costs of living go up. A needs-based publicly-funded homecare system should be a no-brainer for government. Seniors cannot afford to heat their homes and they are worrying if the next rent increase will find them at an emergency shelter pleading for help. We need to keep people healthy and in their homes for as long as possible, and out of expensive long-term care facilities and emergency rooms.”
For further information, contact Eddy St. Coeur, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (o), or email@example.com