Advocacy News release

RTOERO response to 2020 Ontario budget consultation

Jun 04, 2020

In preparing the 2020 budget, RTOERO urges the Ontario government to consider how its investments will improve the quality of life for seniors, our communities and public services.

1. Age-friendly communities

Age-friendly communities optimize opportunities for health, participation and security, to enhance quality of life. We need to invest in structures and services that promote healthy and active lifestyles; enable seniors to remain at home; provide reasonable and safe access to public transportation; and offer opportunities to socialize and volunteer.

Link to government priorities
• Connect people to places
• Build healthier and safer communities

2. Elder abuse prevention

Ontario was the first province with an elder abuse strategy. Still, awareness and resources to help victims remain lacking. This widespread yet mostly hidden problem includes physical, psychological/emotional and financial abuse, and neglect. Studies say 2-10% of older adults experience elder abuse annually, which would affect 40,000-200,000 Ontario seniors, and growing.

Link to government priorities
• Build healthier and safer communities

3. Geriatric training

Over the next two decades, the age 65-plus population will double. Geriatricians are key to helping older adults stay healthy and independent as long as possible. We face a shortage of geriatric professionals; Ontario barely has half the numbers needed. That’s unacceptable if our seniors are to age with dignity and receive the best health care.

Link to government priorities
• Prepare people for jobs
• Build healthier and safer communities

4. National seniors strategy

Gaps in healthcare and social policies create barriers for seniors. While Ontario is exploring its own seniors strategy, we can’t tackle these issues independently. A coordinated national strategy, with dedicated funding and accountable goals, will help to optimize health, financial security and social inclusion. Ontario can play a lead role.

Link to government priorities
• Connect people to places
• Build healthier and safer communities
• Make government smarter

5. Retirement income security

Statistics Canada says 12% of senior families and 28.5% of senior singles are low income. Increases to CPP, OAS and GIS help. Yet we need to strengthen defined benefits pensions, safeguard accrued benefits, and protect employees and retirees ensnared in corporate insolvencies. Ontarians deserve a secure retirement. Defined benefits help them contribute meaningfully to our economies and communities.

Link to government priorities
• Make life more affordable

6. Pharmacare

Canada is the only country with universal health care but without universal drug coverage. One in four households can’t afford their prescriptions, and 10% of citizens lack adequate coverage. A universal, public pharmacare program would help Ontarians to better manage their health and cut medication costs. Ontario should work with other provinces and the federal government to find a workable solution.

Link to government priorities
• Make life more affordable
• Build healthier and safer communities
• Make government smarter

Visit vibrantvoices.ca for more information about RTOERO’s advocacy activities