We Refuse to be Invisible

The Time Has Come the Senior Said: Response to the Federal Budget

Article by Carole Fawcett

Are you feeling angry? I would bet that most low-income seniors across this country of ours are also angry.  As I stated before, this Boomer is angry.

The federal budget left out seniors, (AGAIN!!!) and those with disabilities were left out, with extra money ending at age 64.  Do they really think that people can live on OAS, GIS and CPP with any dignity?  Do they think it is possible to enjoy even a marginal quality of life when you have less than the national poverty line?  Really?  It truly boggles the mind.

The last increase of any significance was in 2016 and at that time, the increase was to the Guaranteed Income Supplement.    The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development was quoted as saying “Everyone deserves to live with dignity and respect – especially our seniors.  The increase to the GIS top-up benefit reaffirms our commitment to lifting Canadians out of poverty, strengthening public pensions and improving the quality of life for seniors”.

How quickly they forget their empty words.  Back then, they spoke of a GIS top up and said the Government of Canada would improve the financial security of about 900,000 vulnerable seniors.   To quote that over-used phrase, Breaking News – we are still vulnerable. On the vulnerability meter, ours has gone over the top.    

Seniors have not forgotten.  Despite what you might think, we actually have good memories.  Also, just as a reminder, we vote.  We are the Boomer generation – remember the changes we made?   Well, hang on tight, because we plan to do it again.

If you are a Boomer who is reading this, sign up now and join us.  We plan to protest en masse on June 27 at 11:00 a.m. across BC, and hopefully across Canada.  We are mad as hell and we are not going to take it anymore.  

I wonder if a parliamentarian can even imagine what it is like to go to the grocery store and try to figure out if you can afford to buy an avocado (yes, as in one), or a few oranges, or butter or many other items.  Then there’s the meat.  

Perhaps you are over 70 and are contemplating working part time in order to supplement your pension.  The only problem is, you have some chronic non visible disabilities and suffer from fatigue with the least bit of exertion.   Or, worse yet, you are in your 80’s and still have to work.  Then there’s the claw back thing.  If you do try to improve your financial lot in life – the government claws back your GIS because, you naughty little senior, you have to stay poor. (wouldn’t you just love to know who made that rule)

Yes indeed, the time HAS come the senior said.    

Carole Fawcett is a freelance writer, retired counsellor, Contact Carole  

Hi everyone.  I am actively looking for people to take on being an Organizer in their town/city. An organizer is crucial to organizing a rally/demonstration/protest, as there are things that need to be done ahead of time. 
One or two people need to be in charge of getting things done, so that there are no negative surprises.  A place has to be chosen where the rally will be held, information needs to be sent out ahead of time (posters, etc.) signs have to be made. 
We even have a page of information on how to be an Organizer. 
So, if you know of anyone across Canada or BC, maybe send them our webpage   NEXT RALLY and ask them if they would be interested in being an organizer for Tin Cup?    
Thank you for your help!

Carole Fawcett

Contact us


  • Jeff Arnold

    What attracts politician’s attention? Media coverage does! The bigger the noise raised, the more attention is focused. I, as a Boomer, contributed approximately $70,000 to CPP over a 55 year period. With annual compounding of 10% this amount grew to approximately $700,000. If I were to live to 80 years old I would draw approximately $160,000. The remainder of MY money would go into the federal government’s General Coffers and be spent in whatever way the politicians of the day choose. I believe that the overall historical mismanagment of tax payer’s money ( approximstely $500,000 of mine) is an unlawful and unconstitutional misappropriation of my money. I believe that we pensioners have merit for a Class Action Law Suit against our federal and provincial governments on the basis that as share holders in this asset we have NOT gotten our fair entitlement to its distribution. I further believe that as share holders we are entitled to the same legal protections as share holders in companies trading on the stock exchanges. I think that we should approach a major law firm to launch a Class Action suit demanding fair compensation for our investment. Let’s see how many eye brows that would raise?

    • Trisha Dev

      Sounds like a great idea. I especially don’t like the way they waste my hard earned taxpayers money. It needs to be contested.

    • Hi Jeff, try asking law firms if they'd take this on. I'm with you. They'd have to excel at research though. No doubt Government investors mismanaged our funds with no thought about a growing population, inflation or people living longer.

      Hi Jeff, try asking law firms if they’d take this on. I’m with you. They’d have to excel at research though. No doubt Government investors mismanaged our funds with no thought about a growing population, inflation or people living longer. You’d have a lot of folks support you.

  • Daniel Noyen

    I firmly believe media attention is the answer in order to get the governments attention that seniors are being treated unfairly in Canada. Politicians raise their own wages 10 percent or more whenever they feel like it. Seniors living below the poverty line in Canada receive nothing in an increse to our pensions. A seniors convoy to Ottawa, and a camp out on Parliamont hill with Tin cups in hand would bring much needed attention from the media to our plight. A class action law suit is a great idea, if a large law firm would take it on. They are mostly scared and in cahoots with the government and it would be hard pressed to find a law firm willing to take on the FEDS. They can afford lots of lawyers paid from our tax dollars.

    • Carole Fawcett

      I agree 100% Daniel. But how many of us could travel to Ottawa? We’d need to use the tin cups
      in order to go there. But I’m hoping that Tin Cup will grow. We started out with two towns and small
      rally’s. Now we have 7 and perhaps more by June 27th. But we need people to step up and take
      the responsibility for being an Organizer. I realize not everyone can do this. But I am trying to get
      as much media attention as possible and so far it has helped. But grass roots groups are sometimes
      slow to grow. But, if everyone who is a member of our group reaches out to all their friends and
      family across Canada – it might grow faster. Thanks for your comments.

  • Ellen Voth

    Interested, also in more affordable seniors housing AND Assisted Living or Complex Care placements. I have considered doing a protest outside Kelowna General Hospital for the Forth Floor ‘forgotten seniors’ – my mom waited for about nine months for assisted living before being placed in KGH and forgotten; she eventually passed away. MANY of her roommates literally placed in her room ‘to die’ as there were no beds for them. Nurses told me about half that ward never leaves, all waiting on care that never comes, often withering away like my mom – no stimulation, no social or physio, nothing.

  • Carole Fawcett

    I am taking part in a forum on May 11th about housing for low income seniors. I may share your
    story (anonymously). I am so sorry this happened to your Mom. Very sad indeed.


    The SAFER benefit is a monthly amount paid to low income seniors who rent. It has been grossly neglected since 2007 and the benefit is clawed back by the BC government every year. When a senior receives a cost of living increase from the Federal government, the BC government “CLAWS BACK” the amount paid to you for SAFER.

    Not only that, since 2007 one component of the formula used to calculate the benefit – the RENT CEILING -which is the maximum amount of rent the government will consider in their calculation – went from $700 to $803 for the Vancouver area in the last 14 years!

    How much has your rent gone up since 2007???

    Please email the Premier – premier@gov.bc.ca – and the Housing Minister – HOUS.minister@gov.bc.ca – to raise your voice to make them accountable for maintaining the SAFER benefit.

    And contact the Senior’s Advocate. 1-877-952-3181 info@seniorsadvocatebc.ca

    Inundate them with your emails – ask them WHY the SAFER benefit is neglected year after year and why are they clawing back your cost of living increase and not updating the SAFER formula annually!

    RAISE YOUR VOICE ! SPEAK UP! There is power in numbers. It doesn’t take a lot of time or cost anything to email.

    We can march in the streets but we can also write write write to those in power to make our voice heard.

    Thank you.

  • Carole Fawcett

    Hello Sandra – thank you for caring enough to write. Yes, all those things are being done or have been done. We are two petitions on the go as well. One in Kamloops and Vernon. There have been many letters written and much said about Seniors and their low income. But nothing changes. So that is why we are taking action, as well as writing letters and doing petitions. TONS of seniors write letters and send emails. What has it done? Nothing.
    The time has come to march in the streets again. This is regardless of all the senior organizations. Boomers marched back in the day and made changes. Time to do it again.

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