News release Advocacy

RTOERO calls for action for the rights of older adults in ongoing effort

October 1 is National Seniors Day, and it marks the week RTOERO’s board of directors, political advocacy committee and senior staff will meet with Ontario’s MPPs and senior policy staff to advocate for the rights of seniors.

“Quick fixes may solve problems temporarily, but we need long-term, visionary policies that will benefit both the current population as well as future generations,” says Martha Foster, chair of RTOERO’s Board of Directors.

Since 2017, RTOERO has hosted an annual Vibrant Voices event at Queen’s Park to advocate for three key issues:

  • Seniors strategy to combat ageism and build infrastructure that guarantees basic income and health-care rights for Ontario’s older adults
  • Geriatric health care which includes the call for universal pharmacare, development of home-care programs to facilitate aging in place and improving the conditions of long-term care homes
  • Environmental stewardship to continue the dialogue for responsible use of resources, conservation and protection of our land, air and water for a sustainable future for all

“Rights of older adults are human rights,” says Foster on the occasion of National Seniors Day. “We cannot turn our backs on them. All of us will be part of that demographic one day. So it is important to recognize the contributions of seniors in the make of the society,” she adds.

Older adults are the fastest-growing age group in Canada. According to Statistics Canada, one in five Canadians today are 65 or older; by 2051, people aged 65 or older will make up one-quarter of the population.

RTOERO and its partner, the International Longevity Centre (Canada), support a United Nations Convention on the Rights of Older Persons. The convention is a key component of RTOERO’s seniors strategy position.

Jim Grieve, executive director of RTOERO, reiterates the call for the international legal instrument, “At present, none of the existing United Nations instruments in relation to older persons are binding upon UN member states,” says Grieve. “A convention will be legally binding, and states will be more accountable for the actions they take towards older persons.”

RTOERO advocates year-round for critical policy improvements to address urgent needs now and create a more secure and compassionate future for everyone.

RTOERO is a bilingual trusted voice on healthy, active living in the retirement journey for the broader education community. With 83,000+ members in 51 districts across Canada, we are the largest national provider of non-profit group health benefits for education retirees. We welcome members who work in or are retired from the early years, schools and school boards, post-secondary and any other capacity in education. We believe in a better future, together!

RTOERO media contact:

Sylvia Link, Director of Marketing and Communications, [email protected], 416-209-1249 (cell)