Vernon senior balks after federal budget ignores seniors and their pensions

Feds let seniors down

Tracey Prediger

Carole Fawcett is a Vernon seniors’ advocate who is gearing up for another provincial rally as she slams the Trudeau government's latest budget, saying seniors living on pensions have been ignored once again.

“What an insult and how shameful of our government to not include seniors and even more disgraceful is what they did for people with disabilities,” says Fawcett, a working writer and retired counsellor.

She calls the meagre increase of $200 a month toward all the expenses that come with disabilities an insult and believes seniors fared far worse by being completely forgotten by the feds.

“They don’t seem to ignore everybody else but they ignore seniors all the time. We are not seen, we are not heard, it’s almost like we are invisible,” Fawcett said.

Fawcett is a provincial organizer with a growing group called Seniors' Tin Cup who are pushing to have pensions at least on par with the poverty line. Even after collecting her Canada Pension, Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement, Fawcett is like a growing number of elderly whose annual income still sits below the poverty line in Canada — $25,000.

More and more seniors are finding it harder to cover their basic needs and are foregoing eyeglasses and exams and even hearing aids.

She says, “I don’t know why they are choosing not to give it to seniors, but I do believe there is enough money in this country for everybody.”

After staging her first public protest in Vernon in December of 2023, Fawcett learned of Tin Cup, a seniors’ advocacy group on the coast and joined forces.

On March 21, seniors from seven locations across the province banded together under the Tin Cup movement to have their voices heard. Just under 100 supporters marched in front of Vernon’s Schubert Centre that day carrying placards that read, “We want change now, not charity” and “We are not invisible.”

After last week’s budget failed seniors, supporters of Tin Cup and Fawcett have scheduled another province wide rally on June 27th.

“I want towns and cities, small towns, big towns all throughout British Columbia joining together and making a noise so that the federal Government will pay attention to seniors.”

While the most visible location for the protest is still being decided, Fawcett plans to hold information sessions for anyone wanting to learn more about the senior’s involved in Tin Cup.

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