Chilliwack seniors overlooked during election

Candidates not addressing issues of concern to many seniors

I attended the All-Candidates Meeting for Mayor and Councillors last nights at the Cultural Centre. Out of 14 candidates running for City Council, NOT ONE of them even mentioned or whispered the word “Seniors”. Yet according to the latest Stats. Canada, seniors aged 55+ represent 34% of Chilliwack’s population with $25,000+ people. The next largest group are people from 0 to 19 years, and they represent only 17,300.

Yet, I have been told by a representative at City Hall that emphasis on recreation facilities in Chilliwack is for youth. Also, if you listen to some Council candidates, they want even more facilities for youth – again completely ignoring the fact that senior represent the largest segment of our population.

As for mayoral candidates, only one, Brigida Crosby, mentioned seniors in their opening address. When I asked the question whether Chilliwack ever planned a dedicated seniors recreation facility, the answers were quite an eye-opener. Counc. Popove said that Chilliwack had contributed $3 million to the new YMCA being rebuilt, and he thinks of that facility as a centre where seniors could congregate. Interesting. I am sure that the Y thinks of it as a family facility! Counc. Waddington said that we own both Leisure Centres in town. In other words, they were paid for by you and me out of our local taxes, but they are run by For-Profit groups. He suggested that the City could take them back, and then possibly have a section of dedicated senior space. Mayor Gaetz said it was an interesting question, and she is always open to ideas. In my opinion, these words from Mayoral candidates were placating words, without any definite action plans even being considered.

Many seniors in Chilliwack are struggling for survival, and stay home because the cost of recreational facilities are too high. Plus not every senior wants to take Keep Fit or Aquasize. Many would like more gentler activities such as pottery, billiards, or just a modern drop-in centre where they can socialize. If only Chilliwack City Hall would study other seniors centres nearby in Coquitlam, New Westminster, Surrey, Langley etc., they would see how they are operating at capacity, and obviously there is a great need.

I am glad that Council and Mayoral candidates are talking about homelessness, addiction and treatment centres and on-site injection centres. However, it both saddens and infuriates me, that the majority of Chilliwack’s population doesn’t warrant a place in their thoughts or action plans. Maybe it’s because we keep too quiet and don’t cause trouble for our police force or By-Law enforcement Officers.

Dianne Darke

Just Posted

B.C. parents missing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars in free money

Chilliwack financial advisor still banging the drum over unclaimed $1,200 RESP grant cash

Chilliwack’s Philomusica Chorus offers Mother’s Day music

Songs include Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Sentimental Journey at spring concert

Chilliwack driver busted with heroin after nodding off behind the wheel

29-year-old man from Vancouver facing possible charges

Vancouver TheatreSports finishes off Harrison’s Season of Performing Arts

Vancovuer TheatreSports will be performing in Harrison on May 4

Job market to remain tight in coming years: report

Conference Board of Canada predicts region’s unemployment rate to remain below five per cent

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

Woman, 60, charged in connection to thefts at YVR

RCMP believe the foreign national is part of a larger organized theft group

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Worst 10 bus routes in Metro Vancouver for rider complaints

TransLink releases list, with Route 319 at the top

Mayors, First Nations chiefs, urge ‘immediate action’ on new Massey crossing

Joint letter asks province to move up timeline, consider only eight-lane tunnel options

Bus driver assault in Vancouver once again raises safety concerns

A 49-year-old Surrey man was released on a promise to appear in court. No charge has been laid

Amber alert issued for 5-year-old Ontario boy

Ethan Montes is believed to be in the company of his mother, 47-year-old Juliet Mohammed

VIDEO: FreshCo opens in Mission

Hundreds line up to check out new grocery store

Most Read