Seniors want to be heard says Parksville-Qualicum MLA

Consultations continue for job description for seniors advocate

Pamela Martin and Ron Cantelon are seeking input about the role of a proposed seniors’ advocate position.

Pamela Martin and Ron Cantelon are seeking input about the role of a proposed seniors’ advocate position.

What do B.C.’s senior citizens think should be the role of a seniors’ advocate?

That was the question at issue as Parksville-Qualicum MLA and Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors Ron Cantelon was asking local seniors Monday as he held a special consultation session at the Community and Conference Centre in Parksville.

The meeting, Cantelon said, was the sixth in a series that saw a committee touring the province to get input from both seniors and those charged with looking after them.

Cantelon said the feedback he has been receiving has been clear on at least one point.

“One thing we are hearing is that we had better listen,” he said. “There are a lot of seniors and their interests are important.”

As well though, he said discussion has ranged from whether the seniors’ advocate should serve as an information hub, collecting information to help people navigate the health system, as well as others.

“There are lots of networks in the community that help seniors, so when an individual needs help, where does he or she go,” he said. “As well, we are hearing there’s a need to support those groups, but also to collect all the information so people know how to navigate the system and get the help they need.”

Cantelon was joined by caucus outreach director Pamela Martin, who said some of the issues being discussed go right down to the very basics.

“We are even defining how you define a senior,” she said. “In the Iranian community, if your children have grown up and left home, you might be 49, but you are considered a senior, whereas in other cultures you can be 80 years old and out there conquering the world.”

There have been other divides as well, Cantelon added.

“Rural issues are very different from urban,” he said. “For instance, it’s very different today than it was in Vancouver, where the multicultural aspect is extremely important. There’s a huge Korean and Chinese population that we don’t have here.

“As well, there are urban areas where seniors are pretty well hooked into services, but there are other, remote areas where they aren’t.”

Cantelon noted he is hearing seniors want an advocate who is both independent of government but also able to get things done.

“They are saying they want someone who can enforce and change things, not just with government, but also with private business,” he said.

Many of the concerns raised to date on the tour, he said, relate to health care and related issues, such as abuse, however Cantelon said he’s open to covering any topic of concern.

The tour, which began in Victoria on May 29, will next sit in Kelowna on June 20, before moving on to Cranbrook, Prince George and Dawson Creek.


Just Posted

(File photo)
The Parksville Civic and Technology Centre at 100 Jensen Ave. (PQB News file photo)
Parksville 2020 annual report now ready for public feedback

Documents can be viewed online; comments or questions to be submitted before noon on July 5, 2021

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased in Parksville

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Most Read