November 10, 2021
The Honourable Kamal Khera
Minister of Seniors
Government of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A O6A
Dear Minister, Khera:
As ACER-CART, the Association canadienne des enseignantes et enseignants retraites - Canadian Association of Retired Teachers, we offer you our warmest congratulations upon the assumption of your responsibilities as Minister of Seniors.
ACER-CART, founded in 1991, represents 13 retired teachers’ associations located in every province and Yukon, with a total membership of 165,000 members. We work in cooperation and collaboration with our Provincial Associations to promote the welfare and interests of retired teachers.
The priority of our members this year is to work towards the development of a National Seniors’ Strategy.
By 2030 one in four of all Canadians will be classified as a senior. The fact that there is no national health care strategy for seniors is worrisome. Every Canadian expects to be a senior one day and we expect that there will be a plan for our care. A National Pharmacare plan and regulations governing Retirement and Long-Term Care Homes are essential parts of a National Strategy, but our focus this year is the development of a health care system that prioritizes care in seniors’ own homes, or near their homes, for as long as possible.
Eighty-seven percent of the money allocated for seniors’ care goes to publicly funded nursing care homes. This money is misdirected; seniors want to stay in their homes a long as possible. And most of us do as only 15% of those Canadians over 85 years of age live in long-term-care homes. The benefits of aging in one’s own home and community include better physical, mental, and social health as well as cost savings.
We look forward to working with your department towards the completion of a National Seniors’ Strategy.
ACER-CART Executive members and Directors meet in Ottawa once a year while attending their Annual General Meeting. The next meeting will be on June 3-4, 2022. We would very much appreciate an opportunity to meet with you to introduce ourselves, provide an overview of our current initiatives and priorities, and discuss ways in which we can support progress on the many issues affecting seniors.