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COSCO Letter to the Senate of Canada

Re: Seeking your support for Bill C-64, An Act respecting Pharmacare

Today, on behalf of the Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations of BC, I am reaching out to request your strong support for the swift and unamended passage of Bill C-64, An Act respecting pharmacare. It is essential that this Bill be enacted before the current session ends to ensure benefits flow to Canadians as soon as possible.

Read the Full Letter Here

COSCO Letter to BC Dentists

Re: Oral health professionals and the Canadian Dental Care Plan

The Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations (COSCO) of BC is a non-profit, non-partisan, volunteer driven organization that has promoted the well-being of seniors since 1950, representing over 80,000 members from 75 affiliated seniors organizations across BC. COSCO advocates for policies that allow seniors to remain active, independent, and engaged in society. We write to you today about the new Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP).

Read the Full Letter Here

Global Intergenerational Week might have concluded for this year, but intergenerational practice is here to stay, every day!

Whether you organised or participated in an event, or spoke up online about the benefits of bringing generations together – we’ve been inspired by all of your activities to raise the profile of intergenerational practice this week.

But there’s still so much we can do together as a global community to advocate for reducing ageism and using intergenerational practice as a proven strategy to do so.

Here are a few suggestions from the Global Campaign to Combat Ageism on how we can build on the momentum as a worldwide community working to create #AWorld4AllAges

  • From step-by-step guidance on intergenerational practice to the best available evidence on ageism – the Global Campaign to Combat Ageism’s new digital home has a resource for you.
  • Explore everything available on aworld4allages.org, and sign-up to join the Global Campaign and stay up-to-date on the latest opportunities.
  • We’re looking for organisations and communities around the world, especially from low- and middle-income countries, who are willing to work with us directly to implement our ‘how-to’ guide on intergenerational practice, Connecting Generations.
  • If you’re looking for support and are also open to collaborate on a case study of your experiences we can share with others, contact us at hello@aworld4allages.org (limited slots available).
  • We’ve heard you! We’re working on a version of the Global Campaign to Combat Ageism logo that anyone can use for their initiative, event, publications, and more to be a part of the movement and show support.
  • We need your voice to shape how we design this logo. Place your vote in our short survey by 15 May 2024 (Wednesday).
  • To spread the word on ageism as widely as possible, we need to translate our resources into other languages – and we need your help.
  • To get involved, explore our new FAQs on how to contribute a translation on the Global Campaign to Combat Ageism website.

In case you missed it, here’s a message from the WHO Director-General on ageism and intergenerational practice.

View the video message

Campaigners across the world call on governments to start drafting a UN convention on the rights of older people

From 8 to 14 April 2024, campaigners (that means all of us!) from around the world will gather for a ‘Global Rally’ on the rights of older people. Their message for governments convening in May for the UN Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing is “It’s time to start drafting a convention on the rights of older people.”

The Global Rally was established in 2021 as a component of the Age with Rights Campaign organized by the Global Alliance on the Rights of Older Persons (GAROP). GAROP — a network of over 400 members worldwide, including the IFA — was born out of the need to strengthen the rights and voice of older people globally. The Global Rally is a week dedicated to solidarity and advocacy towards a new UN convention on the rights of older people.

Click below to explore all the ways you can Take Action during this important global rally!

View the full article

Canada’s pharmacare showdown

The lack of progress on the Government’s promise to create a national programme for universal access to drugs risks a political crisis.

Read the full article, featuring an interview with a COSCO representative on The Lancet by clicking below. (Registration is required, but it is free to do so.)

View the full article

Need to modernize VIA Rail’s Equipment and Operating Environment

COSCO has written a letter to the Ministers of Finance and Transport in support of funding the modernization of VIA rail equipment. Read the full letter by clicking below.

Read the Letter to the Ministers in support of VIA Rail

All Hands on Deck for Pharmacare!

Pharmacare legislation could be coming sooner than expected – as early as next week. We also heard disturbing indications the Liberal government could go back on their commitment to a drug plan that covers all Canadians, because they think voters don’t care. So the next couple days are absolutely critical for people like you and me to let the government know that we want universal pharmacare or bust!

Together we need to remind key government actors – cabinet members, and a few target MPs – that voters are paying attention, and if they introduce a pharmacare bill tailored to protect Big Pharma’s profits, rather than provide for people, it’s going to hurt them in the next election.

This is an all hands on deck moment — our movements have been fighting to bring coverage for medicines into our public health care system since Medicare was established more than 60 years ago, and your voice is needed, right now, to help get it across the finish line.

Having our voices heard now is so important. During my meetings with MPs in Ottawa this week, many told me they haven’t heard from their constituents about pharmacare, and that makes them feel like it’s not a priority issue. In these last few days before the legislation arrives, we need to make sure MPs know that you want to see universal pharmacare, and you expect them to live up to the promises made to deliver it.

Summary of the Pharmacare Check-in (recording link below)

  • Campaign update from Nik:
    • We are gathering very good intel from both sources close to the NDP and report backs from the Canadian Health Coalition lobby days last week. The NDP is committed to the red line they’ve drawn over universal pharmacare, and the Liberal caucus is split on universality.
    • Negotiation between NDP and Liberals still going, and the big sticking point is whether it will be a universal program or one that just covers the uninsured. The latter is pushed by Big Pharma and the insurance industry. Discussion also includes what will be covered by the initial roll out, and it sounds like oral contraceptives and diabetes medications are what’s on the table.
    • The phone calls we’re making are having an impact: Since a week ago, we have made 4000+ calls to MPs and key cabinet ministers. This is thanks to the incredible mobilizing work from chapters and organizers on the ground. MP offices are telling us that these calls are effective in bringing the pressure!
  • Sharing the calling tool to your network
    • Please continue to share the calling tool far and wide in your network. Personal touch makes a big difference, so send a personal text, email, message, etc. encouraging people in your network to make the calls and share the calling tools.
    • If you are member of a union local, faith group, other community organizations, etc., ask them to share the call tool with their network.
    • Link to call tool is here: https://canadians.org/action/pharma-phone-mp/
    • There is an email from Nik this morning titled “Keep on fighting for pharmacare”. You can forward that along.
  • Phone outreach to Council of Canadians members
    • Since last week, we’ve also built an elaborate but effective phone tree. Chapter members and key organizers in the pharmacare campaign have also been making calls to Council of Canadians supporters, asking them to use the calling tool to call their MPs and cabinet ministers. These are people who have engaged with the pharmacare campaign through phone zaps, town halls, letter writing, sharing personal stories, etc, and live in target ridings. It won’t be cold calls!
    • 32 people have been making nearly 800 calls to Council supporters in the last 7 days. And it works! We saw 4000 phone calls made to MPs because of this outreach strategy.
    • Can you help us make more calls? Each list is between 15-20 names, probably takes an hour to get through, and there is a step-by-step guide and script to help you along the way.
    • Please reach out to me (vbui@canadians.org/ 613-355-6957) or David (dravensbergen@canadians.org/ 778-998-5493) if you have an hour or even half an hour to make some calls.
View the Recording of the Pharmacare Check-in Call Feb 22, 2024

Announcement of Dental Plan for Seniors

Letter to Hon. Mark Holland, Minister of Health

“Huge congratulations are due to you both for working out a plan to provide dental care for low and moderate income seniors. We appreciate the detailed advance information on the roll out of this program and will work with our members to do our best to ensure a smooth implementation, despite the bumps that may occur along the way.”

Read the full letter below.

Read the Full Letter

Submission to the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board – December 19, 2023

The Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations of BC (COSCO BC) welcomes this opportunity to provide input to the Scoping Paper for the consultations on the PMPRB Board’s new Guidelines. COSCO BC, the largest umbrella organization for seniors in BC, represents the interests of 75 affiliated organizations with a combined membership of 80,000 seniors located in all parts of our province. We are a non-profit, non-partisan, independent, volunteer driven society that aims to advance the social and physical welfare of British Columbia’s seniors through submitting proposals and resolutions to appropriate government bodies. Read the full submission below.

Read the Full Submission

Just Released: CADeN’s 2023 National Meeting Summary Report!

On November 8th and 9th 2023, CADeN held its first National Meeting since 2018 in Montréal!

This meeting was an opportunity to bring together partners from different fields, including community leaders, people with lived experience, healthcare professionals, health organizations, and decision makers. The goals of the meeting were for participants to connect, to share projects and perspectives, and to brainstorm effective strategies to promote medication appropriateness in their communities and networks. This event was made possible through a financial contribution from Health Canada.

Read the Full Summary Report

Burnaby council calls on TransLink to stop outsourcing HandyDART bus service

Burnaby councillors are calling for TransLink to bring its HandyDART service in-house after signing a letter penned by the Save Our HandyDART Coalition.

The letter also calls for funds from higher levels of government to provide HandyDART with an expanded, electric fleet of buses.

Read the Full Article

Attached is this year’s submission by COSCO to the Federal Budget Consultation.

Download the COSCO Federal Budget Submission (PDF)