Main photo: CARP Muskoka/Parry Sound’s 2017 Board of Directors (back from left) Debbie Dale (Chair), Jason Swain (Housing), Roger Pinney (Treasurer), Jackie Riley (Health & Wellness), Pauline Hedmann (Advocacy), Kimberley Davies (Vice Chair), Laurie Fountain (Website & Social Media), and (in front) Morgan Earl (Communications). Not Shown: Bill Paterson (Director at Large).
With more than 1200 members in Muskoka and Parry Sound, the local chapter of CARP – formerly the Canadian Association of Retired Persons – is a strong advocate near and far for the organization’s priorities.
In 2017, CARP’s top focus will be in six areas:
- Restoring sanity to electricity rates in Ontario: The rising cost of electricity is hard to ignore and Ontarians pay more than other Canadians. Seniors, who are home during the day, are hit particularly hard. CARP is fighting for a 25 per cent reduction in rates and the adoption of progressive rates so that those who use little electricity pay less.
- Reducing wait times for medical procedures: The pain endured while awaiting surgery is a hardship no one should have to bear.
- Improving access to homecare for aging Canadians: CARP is calling on the federal government to honour its pledge of $3 million for homecare funding. A majority of CARP members surveyed have said that if they were terminally ill they would prefer to remain at home (58 per cent) or in hospice care (25 per cent). Funds need to be allocated to palliative care support.
- Improving supports for caregivers: Eighty per cent of care – a whopping $25 billion worth – is provided by unpaid, informal caregivers, usually family members. It can take a devastating toll. CARP is pushing for a refundable tax credit, expanded EI coverage for Compassionate Care Benefits, an allowance for low-income caregivers and expanded respite care.
- Improving investor protection: CARP is working to eliminate embedded fees and fight conflicts of interest prevalent in the financial industry.
- Stopping elder abuse: Eight to 10 per cent of seniors will experience abuse. Financial abuse, which can be devastating for someone no longer in the workforce, is the most common.
More than an advocacy group, CARP also provides its members with a wide array of benefits that include insurance, travel, entertainment and product discounts. Memberships are available for one-year, two-year or five-year terms; anyone over the age of 45 is welcome to join.
At its AGM on May 4, which is open to any and all interested citizens, the local CARP chapter will welcome Anthony Quinn, CARP’s Director of Community Development. The chapter will also elect new board members, although voting is limited to members only. (If you are interested in becoming a member, learn how to join here.)
The CARP Muskoka/Parry Sound’s AGM is being held on May 4 at 7 p.m. at the Waterloo Summit for the Environment.
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