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

Air ambulance called to scene after report of shots fired in Abbotsford

Incident Monday afternoon in the area of Ross and Simpson roads

Chilliwack pauses to remember

Services held special significance, marking the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

Early morning bagpipe playing at Chilliwack memorial on Nov. 11

Piper Greg McCormick taking part in international Battle’s Over tribute at Piper Richardson statue

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

Calgary 2026 leader expects close vote in Winter Games plebiscite

Residents to choose in a non-binding vote on Tuesday whether they want city to bid on 2026 Olympics

VIDEO: Newcomer kids see first Canadian snowfall

Children arrived in Canada with their mother and two siblings last week from Eritrea

Feds dropped ball with WWI anniversary tributes: historians

Wrote one historian: ‘Other than the Vimy Ridge celebration … I think they have done a very bad job’

Sides ‘far apart’ in Canada Post talks despite mediation, says union

The lack of a breakthrough means rotating strikes will resume Tuesday

Feds’ appeal of solitary confinement decision in B.C. to be heard

Judge ruled in January that indefinite such confinement is unconstitutional, causes permanent harm

Touching note left on Lower Mainland veteran’s windshield

A veteran is hoping the writers of a note know how much he was touched by their kind words.

BCHLers on NHL Central Scouting players to watch list

The list includes seven current BCHL skaters

B.C. health care payroll tax approved, takes effect Jan. 1

Employers calculating cost, including property taxes increases

Most Read