UN day for seniors celebrated with focus on housing, health, pensions, inequality


CURC participated in an NDP press conference on Parliament Hill marking October 1, National Seniors Day and UN International Day of the Older Person.

Housing, health, pensions and inequality were top of mind when CURC, provincial federations and area councils in collaboration with other retiree organizations through Seniors’ Voice marked October 1, International Day of Older Persons.

CURC members joined with others across the country for flag-raisings, lunches and speakers to mark the day designated by the United Nations.

Through Seniors’ Voice, the shared focus included the need to:
• increase the supply of affordable, purpose-built seniors’ housing units;
• implement a national pharmacare plan and a national seniors’ health strategy;
• improve the Canada and Quebec pension plans; and
• take action to close corporate and CEO tax loopholes.

On Parliament Hill, CURC representatives Pat Kerwin, past president, and Kevin Hayes joined NDP MPs Allistair MacGregor, Irene Mathyssen and Guy Caron at a news conference. They called on the federal government to develop a National Seniors Strategy that would ensure seniors have access to high-quality and affordable healthcare and housing. Additionally, it would improve the financial security, quality of life, and the integration of seniors within society.


Here’s a sampling of events from across Canada:

Prince Edward Island

Flags were raised in Charlottetown, Cornwall, Stratford and Summerside with proclamations read and passed by all municipalities except Charlottetown, which has a policy not to do proclamations.

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Federation of Labour (NSFL) President Danny Cavanagh and Nova Scotia Federation of Union Retirees (NSFUR) President Larry Wark joined HRM Mayor Mike Savage at a flag raising ceremony at Grand Parade in Halifax. The event was also attended by NDP Leader Gary Burrill and union and community groups. Mayor Savage, on behalf of the Halifax Regional Council, also proclaimed October 1, 2016 as National Seniors’ Day.


In Laval, Mayor Marc Demers also issued an proclaimed in front of more than 100 people at the Place des Ainées. CURC 2nd Vice-President Louisette Hinton addressed the crowd, which included the Quebec Minister for Seniors Francine Charbonneau, MP Al Koury , MNA Jean Abel and Andre Ouellette, Laval councillors and many more.
Entertainment came from comedian Beatrice Picard and two musicians from the Laval Orchestra.


CURC Member-at-Large (Visible Minorities and Aboriginals) Janice Gairey and Secretary Maureen King  helped raised the flag at Toronto City Hall along with the CURC Toronto Area Council, the Toronto Retirees Network, Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) Toronto Chapter and the Ontario Chinese Seniors Association.

In Ottawa, Terry Sing, past president of PIPSC retirees and an active member the Ottawa Area Council of CURC, joined Deputy Mayor Bob Monette and City Councillor Diane Deans, co-chair of the committee related to seniors raise the flag at City Hall with the framed declaration.


The Alberta Federation of Union Retirees (AFUR) joined seniors and union organisations in around the province at events to mark the UN day. The cities of Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer issued proclamations. In Edmonton, the High Level Bridge was lit blue & white, colours of the United Nations. A flag raising event included municipal and provincial representatives as well as music by local entertainers, including the Raging Grannies.

As well, it will fly a Seniors’ flag on its Community Flag Pole, September 30 – October 3, and in so doing, will highlight the event in Saturday, October 1 at the 99th Street Union Promenade (east of Winston Churchill Square).

The Calgary CURC Council hosted a lunch with keynote speaker Craig Coolahan, MLA for Calgary-Klein, while the city of Red Deer issued a special proclamation.


British Columbia

At the Vancouver City Hall October 1st flag raising ceremony honouring the United Nations International Day of Older Persons, Acting Mayor Raymond Louie (pictured) read the U.N. Proclamation and Barb Mikulec, BC FORUM Board member (pictured), spoke about issues for seniors.

For more reports on Oct. 1 activities, please visit the Seniors’ Voice website.

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