BC FORUM report to National Pensioners Federation affiliate leaders


by Diane Wood,
President, BC Federation of Retired Union Members (BC FORUM) and General Vice-president, Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations of BC (COSCO)


BC FORUM has been active in communications to our members regarding the two byelections in BC. We sent an e-mail blast out to our members in the Nanaimo provincial riding encouraging them to vote. NDP held that one! We will be doing a similar communication to our members in the South Burnaby federal riding byelection where Jagmeet Singh, leader of the NDP, is running. It’s also my riding.

Jagmeet is calling on the Trudeau Liberal government for pharmacare that is public, universal and comprehensive — a single-payer system, so every single resident of Canada is covered equally. Coverage would include medications that are judged safe and effective by scientific evidence and based on the best value for money. There would be no more co-payments or deductibles.

There will be an event held on Wednesday, Feb. 6 in the morning. Call 416.988.4457 for more information on the event. If you know residents of Burnaby who struggle to pay for their medication, or people who have insurance but have to pay hundreds of out-of-pocket costs every year for deductibles and copayments, who would be willing to share their experiences with Jagmeet, please reach out to us at the same number. BC FORUM has communicated this information to our members and also to the COSCO Executive.

BC FORUM is supporting the Canadian Association of Retired Teachers (CART) e-petition on the House of Commons website re Bill C-27 and its negative aspect — which allows plan sponsors to retroactively change the pension promise for benefits that have already been earned. It also addresses private sector pension plans such as the Sears plan, where pensioners have lost health benefits and a significant portion of their pensions due to the closing of Sears. The focus of the petition is to make retirement security and the protection of pension plans a priority for government now and following the coming election. We will be communicating with our members to add their names to the petition.

BC FORUM communicated information regarding the Deprescribing Network’s webinar on a discussion about what to do if you suspect an elder is taking too many pills which was held Jan. 29.

We also communicated out the BC Government News release regarding lower income families benefiting from Fair PharmaCare investment for 240,000 BC families. A three-year $105 million investment that is reducing or eliminating deductibles and co-payments for lower income households. Link to new Fair PharmaCare coverage here.

The Canadian Labour Congress campaign on Pharmacare continues to be active with communications, all of which we are communicating out. Most recently, there was a pre-budget survey asking about our priorities. The survey provided an opportunity to speak up about our priorities. The survey has been concluded as of press time.

The Canadian Labour Congress is developing their plan for the Federal election and have set up a website for folks to advise them about which are the key issues that matter. You can participate in the survey here.

We communicated out information on the January Vancouver Sun article re: Growing call to put teeth into BC health-care coverage and also a national plan. We also shared the Broadbent Institute’s release on Charting the path to National Pharmacare in Canada. We promulgated the most recent January report of the Office of the BC Seniors Advocate: Monitoring Seniors Services 2018, the new monthly e-newsletter just launched and, finally, an interview with BC Seniors Advocate for a web magazine that launched a new podcast. All of these posted to our BC FORUM News page .

BC FORUM has had exhibits each Sunday at the Canadian Labour Congress Winter School. The school is held for five weeks. I also participated at the BC Federation of Labour Ranking Officers session held the week of Jan. 28 at the CLC Winter School.

I attended the COSCO Executive meeting on Feb. 1. Also attended the COSCO committee planning for the Deprescribing Network conference being held in May 2019 in Vancouver.

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