Associations of elders call for commitments of political parties

Des associations d'aînés réclament des engagements des partis politiques

Five major associations of seniors in Quebec to refrain from the balance sheet of the government of Philippe Couillard, but they combine rather to require that political parties as they take up position for the elderly in view of the upcoming elections.

“We don’t want to make an assessment of the last few years,” said the president of the Association québécoise des retraités des secteurs public et parapublic (AQRP), Donald Tremblay.

If they qualify for “historic” launch of a common platform of demands on the eve of an election campaign, the five associations explain wanting to equip their members for the ballot rather than take a position in favour of a party.

Mr. Tremblay has agreed, however, that the liberals have to date processed “in the room” applications, managed “crisis after crisis”, instead of launching a comprehensive plan for the seniors of Quebec. The FADOQ, like many other groups, is calling for among other of the states general on the aging of the population and the increase in the number of seniors in Quebec.

At a press conference on Monday, representatives of the FADOQ and other organizations have one voice that challenged the political parties to make concrete commitments to defend the older people, especially those in a vulnerable situation.

They rely on their “power of influence is huge” to voice their demands to decision-makers. “It sends a clear signal. We want to say that it is there,” said the president of the Association québécoise de défense des droits des personnes retraitées et préretraitées, Judith Gagnon. Together, the five associations represent 700,000 people, noted the leaders.

In their platform called “For a Quebec that is worthy of its seniors,” the associations are launching 16 claims, grouped under five pillars : home care and in NURSING homes, family caregivers, prevention, retirement income and housing.

Among these, we note : the creation of a protected fund which is charged to home care, the tax credit for caregivers, the increase in the maximum monthly shelter Allowance program to$ 150 and indexing it to annual registration of shingles on the quebec Program of immunization for people 65 years and older.

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“Quebec does not yet have an overall strategy to combat the aging of the population,” lamented the president of the FADOQ, Maurice Dupont.

The associations have already met with the main political parties represented in the national Assembly to voice their grievances.

The Parti québécois is committed to hold the states-general if he came to power in October, has supported the spokesperson of the official opposition for the elderly, Harold Lebel.

In the interview, the member of parliament for Rimouski has deemed “very good” the claims of different groups. “It is important that the company adapts to the ageing of the population. The states general would involve the elders in the reflection,” he defended.

The mp solidarity Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois has said that the claims of the associations of the elders was “music to his ears.” “The seniors are part of the categories of the population who were most affected by the austerity measures”, he argues.

“Seniors will certainly be a part of the main issue during the next election campaign. The CAQ has been fighting for a long time on various ways to improve the dignity, quality of life and safety of our seniors,” said François Paradis, the Coalition avenir Québec.

The government, the minister responsible for Seniors, Francine Charbonneau, said, in a short written statement, that his government had “put in place action plans, policies and laws in order to provide healthy living environments and safe for seniors and protecting the most vulnerable”.

The CAQ and the PQ have both stated that they were planning to reveal soon the outline of their commitments for the seniors.

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