B.C. seniors have lowest financial support in Canada, says advocate

Seniors support lagging

Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie says British Columbia ranks last among Canada's provinces and territories in providing key financial support for seniors.

Mackenzie says a report released by her office finds the province provides the lowest support for seniors in nine areas, including home support, eye exams, hearing aids and monthly supplements.

The report outlining the financial struggles facing B.C. seniors makes 10 recommendations, including indexing the seniors supplement to inflation, and redesigning the Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters program to reflect rental realities.

Mackenzie says the government should also provide annual bus passes and transportation services for seniors with accessibility issues.

The B.C. government was not immediately available for comment on the findings.

Mackenzie's report says 45 per cent of B.C.'s one million seniors are living on income equivalent to less than the minimum wage and 25 per cent live on less than $21,000 annually.

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