(special to TideChange)

Seniors issues will now be examined federally, but to Canadians this will be just more talk and no action, North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney suggested in a media teleconference on June 26.

She will be sitting on a standing committee that will consider a federal strategy for seniors, socially and fiscally. The committee will be looking at three main issues: isolation of seniors (accessibility of services), housing for seniors, and income inequality. The standing committee results from Motion 106, presented by Blaney as seniors issues critic for the NDP caucus.

The Committee, she revealed, will be speaking to witnesses across Canada and also traveling. It will operate under HUMA – Human Resources, Skills and Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities.

I’m afraid this will be just another research project. I held 11 town halls in my riding and identified many gaps in care for seniors and those who care for them. I presented a report. People want action, commitment from the government – now.”

Blaney says she wants to see better cooperation between the various levels of government, so that gaps can be filled. She cited cases where one senior of a couple may have to go into care while the other stays at home, and is forced to live on 20% of their pension.

They should not have to legally separate or divorce to survive.”

The first session of the 42nd of the Parliament has wrapped up for the summer and will not be meeting again until September – but Blaney is back in her riding and emphasized that she will be talking to constituents and wants to hear their concerns.

She plans to attend a number of community events over the summer.

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