The message from a large group of Manitoba seniors is that their concerns are important.
A coalition of five organizations has been formed to raise awareness of main issues of their age group before this Springs provincial election. Coming together are The Retired Teachers Association, the Association of Seniors Centres, Active living coalition for Older Adults, and Transportation Options Network for Seniors. Also involved is the Canadian Association for Retired Persons.
Tom Farrell is President of the Manitoba Association of Seniors Centres. During this morning’s first coalition meeting he spoke with concern about one of the most important issues: seniors social engagement. Farrell said a report from the last few years says that three out of ten people in Manitoba live alone.
Other main issues are affordable housing, transportation, healthy aging/quality of life, retirement income security and health care.
Farrell also said “We are going to be around during this election and we will make some noise.” He added they don’t want to be overlooked or taken for granted.
And they shouldn’t be. Seniors routinely have the highest turn out rate to vote, and also make up the highest percentage of eligable voters in Manitoba. Those 55 and older comprise approximately 26 percent of the population.
They are waiting for all three of the main political parties to respond to them about their main issues.
At least one more meeting of the Coalition “Seniors Vote 2016″ is planned before April.