Vernon senior declines after federal budget ignores seniors and their pensions – Vernon News

Tracey Prediger

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

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

She calls the paltry $200 per month increase for people with disabilities an insult and believes seniors fared much worse because they were completely forgotten by the feds.

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

Fawcett is a provincial organizer with a growing group called Seniors’ Tin Cup, which is pushing for pensions to be at least on par with the poverty line. Even after receiving her Canada Pension, Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement, Fawcett resembles a growing number of seniors whose annual income in Canada is still below the poverty line: $25,000.

More and more seniors are finding it harder to meet their basic needs and are forgoing glasses, exams and even hearing aids.

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

After organizing her first public protest in Vernon in December 2023, Fawcett heard about Tin Cup, an advocacy group for coastal seniors, and joined forces.

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

After last week’s budget failure for the seniors, Tin Cup and Fawcett supporters have scheduled another provincial meeting for June 27.

“I want towns and cities, small towns and big cities across British Columbia to unite and make 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 interested in learning more about the seniors involved in Tin Cup.