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  • In the wake of the referendum decision to eliminate the Harmonized Sales Tax, seniors can breathe only a short sigh of relief. British Columbians now must engage in a new debate. We need a tax system that is fair, respects the ability of individuals to pay, and recognizes our shared responsibilities to each other.

    When Adrian Dix launched his campaign to become leader of the B.C. NDP, his clear priority was equality. Everyone should have opportunities. And corporations should pay their fair share. It was in that spirit that he campaigned so vigorously and effectively against the HST – which eliminated consumption taxes from corporations and required people and families to pay hundreds of millions more each year.

    In a civil society, we all have responsibilities as well as benefits, and that includes corporations. You'd never know it to listen to their paid spokespeople at the Fraser Institute. On the very day the referendum results were announced, they called on the provincial government to eliminate corporate income taxes. They have no shame. Corporations benefit directly from all the things that taxes pay for: educated workers, safe communities, transportation systems, public health care, the rule of law and much more. Corporations currently pay 10 percent on their profits, which is hardly excessive. How would you like your taxes to be based on what you have left after you've paid your bills?

    Giving corporations a free ride is a deeply flawed economic strategy. It requires the rest of us to pay more, in the faint hope they will invest, produce and create jobs. But why would corporations invest when much current productive capacity is idle? Why would they produce more if customers are reeling under a higher tax burden and unable to buy their goods and services? Businesses need paying customers, not another tax giveaway.

    Warren Buffett, one of the richest men in the world, recently wrote an open letter to the U.S. government. He urged the government to increase taxes on billionaires. He noted that he pays a far lower rate of taxes than anyone else in his office.

    The same situation prevails in Canada. The richest one percent of Canadians pays a lower rate of taxes than everyone else.

    Part of the problem is consumption taxes. The more we pay through consumption taxes, the less we pay through taxes which are linked to ability to pay. People of moderate means pay a much higher share of their income in sales taxes, Hydro rates and Medical Service Plan premiums.

    It's been a constant trend under the B.C. Liberals. They have consistently reduced taxes for corporations and the wealthy, shifting their responsibilities to the rest of us. It's a trend that must be reversed if we are to have a civil society where benefits, opportunities, and responsibilities are shared equitably and fairly among all residents of our province.

  • Cambie-Corp-Goes-to-Court 2015

    Two quotes from the Foreword of

    CAMBIE CORP. GOES TO COURT; The Legal Assault on Universal Health Care - by Colleen Fuller published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives


    "Some have described it as a perversion of Canadian values that they cannot use their money to purchase faster treatment from a private provider

    for their loved ones. I believe it is a far greater perversion of Canadian values to accept a system where money, rather than need, determines who

    gets access to care."

    4— Roy Romanow, from the final report of the Royal Commission on the Future of Health Care (2002) "Equality is impossible."

    5— Brian Day, from a presentation to the Fraser Institute (2006)


    Cambie Corp Goes to Court (pdf)



  • Statement from Dr. Chris Simpson President, Canadian Medical Association

    On the defeat of Bill C-356, an act to establish a national dementia strategy


    Read Full Article(pdf)



  • B.C. home support system near breaking point, government leadership needed: study

    VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - June 3, 2015)
    It is now harder than ever for BC seniors to access the basic home support services they need to remain at home, despite the BC Ministry of Health's goal to support seniors to stay independent at home for as long as possible, says a report released today by the Integrated Care Advocacy Group (ICA) and the BC Health Coalition (BCHC). 

    Read Full Article (pdf)



  • Any day now, the Fraser Institute will again declare Tax Freedom Day, when, they tell us, we stop working for government and start working for ourselves; last year it was June 9.

    In recent years, corporations and many governments have sought to redefine us as consumers and taxpayers, rather than as citizens. Along with that, for ideological reasons, they have sought to downplay the role of the public sector. They have done so not just by preaching cost-cutting and lowered taxes, but in many cases by belittling public servants as lazy or incompetent or both — and overpaid to boot.
    Trevor Hancock- Times Colonist 

    Read Full Article (pdf)



  • Elder Abuse Awareness Day June 15

    The global population of people aged 60 years and older will more than double, from 542 million in 1995 to about 1.2 billion in 2025. Around 4 to 6% of elderly people have experienced some form of maltreatment at home. Elder maltreatment can lead to serious physical injuries and long-term psychological consequences. The incidence of abuse towards older people is predicted to increase as many countries are experiencing rapidly ageing populations.

    Read More (pdf)



  • Older and Wiser: Quelling the bashing of seniors

    Tom Carney (North Shore News)

    Back in 1998 the late British journalist Henry Fairlie coined the term "greedy geezer."

    In an article last year, Maclean's magazine called Canada's seniors, "old, rich and spoiled." The view here is that the elderly ("geezers") are living too well at the expense of the young. Some call this intergenerational conflict, others, like me, call it senior bashing.


    Read More 

  • A CCPA study published last week looking at wealth inequality by age group in Canada. As you'll see below, it finds that the wealth gap is big and growing, including within younger generations.

    Read News Release


    An important new report published by our friends at Integrated Care Advocacy and the BC Health Coalition, about the growing pressures in BC's home support system due to underfunding and fragmentation (read on for key findings and links to the report).

    Full & Summary Report


    An article about a recent forum about the issues facing immigrant and refugee seniors from smaller ethno-cultural communities.

    Full Report



  • Subject: For Immediate Release: Increasing hydro rates drive request for an electricity affordability program for BC’s poor 


    News release & media backgrounder attached

    Increasing BC Hydro rates drive request for an electricity affordability program for BC's poor

    September 29, 2015 (Vancouver) Legal advocacy group, the BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre (BCPIAC) will ask the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) to implement an electricity affordability program for BC Hydro's 160,000 low income residential customers. The proposal consists of three strategies to address the hardship caused by high hydro rates on low income customers:

    lifeline rates to keep rates more affordable for the poorest customers;
    low income customer service rules including more flexible arrears payment arrangements and waiver of reconnection fees; and emergency bill assistance to avoid disconnection.


    BC Hydro has increased residential electricity rates by 47% in the last 10 years, and is on track to increase them by at least 10.5% in the next three years. Rates are projected to continue to rise significantly in future years as BC Hydro proceeds with multi-billion dollar projects such as Site C dam which have been exempted from a full public review by the BCUC.

    BC Hydro's rate increases have grossly outstripped increases in income for low income British Columbians. For example, BC social assistance rates have been frozen since 2007 at $610 per month for basic assistance and $906 for disability assistance, and in the last 10 years the BC general minimum wage has only gone up by $2.45 an hour.

    "Electricity is an essential service, and low income BC Hydro customers have no spare money to pay higher electricity costs. Since electricity is essential to survival, people can only pay their electricity bills at the expense of competing household necessities, such as food and medicine" said Trish Garner, community organizer with the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition.

    "About 10% of BC Hydro residential customers live below Statistics Canada's Low Income Cut-off", said Sarah Khan, one of the lawyers at BCPIAC who is bringing this issue to the BCUC, adding that "Continuous rate increases and stagnant incomes are causing low income people to struggle to pay for their BC Hydro bills."

    BC Hydro offers no rates or terms and conditions that specifically apply to low income customers. The only programs available to these customers are energy saving kits and in more limited cases, energy efficiency home upgrades. While these programs are important, they are not offsetting BC Hydro's rate increases.

    BC Hydro has just filed a Rate Design Application with the BCUC, and BCPIAC will intervene in this proceeding on behalf of the following groups to request low income programs: Active Support Against Poverty, BC Old Age Pensioners' Organization, BC Poverty Reduction Coalition, Council of Senior Citizens' Organizations of BC, Disability Alliance BC, Together Against Poverty Society, and Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre.


    For further information, please contact:


    Sarah Khan and Erin Pritchard, BCPIAC
    Ph: 604-687-3063


    Trish Garner, BC Poverty Reduction Coalition
    Ph: 604-417-8885,


    Gudrun Langolf, Council of Senior Citizens' Organizations of BC
    Ph: 604 266-7199,


    Stephen Portman, Together Against Poverty Society
    Ph: 250-361-3521 (w) or 250-361-6083 (c),

  • imageart

    Art Kube - Past President of COSCO Recipient of the Order of Canada for his contribution to the labour movement and volunteer work with senior citizens.

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