Advocacy Healthy living

Vibrant Voices campaign amplifies seniors’ views during Ontario election Federal Retirees, RTOERO partner to highlight key issues for members, seniors

RTOERO and the National Association of Federal Retirees (Federal Retirees) have partnered to launch Vibrant Voices, an advocacy campaign to represent the interests and concerns of our members and seniors in the approach to the Ontario election on June 7. The two membership-based organizations represent 150,000 Ontario seniors.

The Vibrant Voices campaign will be launched at a bilingual town hall event on April 24 from 1 to 3 p.m., Courtyard Marriott Hotel, 475 Yonge Street, Toronto.

During the town hall event, representatives from the major political parties will present platform policies that affect seniors. The focus of the event will be the opportunity for members to engage in a Q&A with the following party representatives:

• Hon. Dipika Damerla, Minister of Seniors Affairs and MPP Mississauga East — Cooksville, Liberal Party
• Todd Smith, MPP Prince Edward-Hastings and Critic for Energy, Progressive Conservative Party
• Teresa Armstrong, MPP London-Fanshawe and Seniors Affairs Critic, NDP

Marieke Walsh, iPolitics journalist, will moderate the event.

More than 150 members are registered for the Toronto event. Members across Ontario will also join in via live bilingual webcast. Watch parties will be held in the following locations:

• Trinity Hall, 310 Park Avenue, Thunder Bay
• RA Centre, 2451 Riverside Drive, Courtside Salon B, Ottawa

“Together, RTOERO and Federal Retirees are taking the lead to make sure public policy issues that are most important to our members, to seniors and to their families, are front-and-centre – not just on the campaign trail, but in holding Ontario’s next government, whatever stripe it may be, to do better for seniors,” said Jean-Guy Soulière, president of the Federal Retirees.

The campaign focuses on three key issues:

• health care – specifically the need for more geriatric training, home care and long-term care
• taking action against elder abuse
• developing age-friendly communities that support citizens at any age

“As educators and federal public sector employees, our members devoted their careers to serving the residents of Ontario and Canada. In retirement, our members continue to contribute to the well being of their families and their communities,” said Martha Foster, chair, RTOERO. “We are all aging and, in the normal course of life, all citizens will become retirees and seniors. Many Ontarians struggle to meet their own needs and the needs of their children, while worrying about the needs of their parents. Public policy issues range from enabling seniors to live safely and well at home and in their communities, to having access to reliable advanced health care supports when needed – and many points in between.”

The Vibrant Voices campaign includes the following elements:

• Bilingual campaign website – — on which members and the public can learn about the three key issues and share their views directly with their local candidates and/or party leaders
• “Report cards” on the policies of each major political party regarding the key issues
• Public awareness campaign to highlight key facts related to the Vibrant Voices issues – with the theme of “participation, protection and independence – at any age”
• RTOERO districts and Federal Retirees branches meeting with local candidates and hosting all-candidate meetings

About Federal Retirees

The National Association of Federal Retirees advocates to protect the hard-earned pensions and benefits of retired members of the federal public service, Canadian Armed Forces, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and retired federally appointed judges, as well as their partners and survivors since 1963.