Residents at the Ontario Finnish Rest Home had the opportunity to speak to the Honourable Filomena Tassi, MP of Hamilton West Ancaster Dundas, and the Minister for Seniors, on Thursday afternoon as part of her cross-Canada tour.
Tassi was tasked by the Prime Minister to visit seniors across the country and receive input directly from them as well as their care-givers and families, on how the current government can continue to build on the work that they’ve done for seniors thus far.
Tassi told SaultOnline the main concern she heard at the Resthome was income security, whilst other concerns she’s heard from the tour so far include affordable housing, isolation, access to home care and healthcare, elder abuse and elder fraud.
She said although she can’t make it to every seniors’ residence in the country, she is meeting with organizations that have been strong advocates for seniors. She said in some cases, she’ll also go into seniors’ residences as well, meeting with them and their care-givers and families.
“I want to ensure that all the different groups are met with, so that when we’re making decisions, and I’m representing seniors at the cabinet table, that I can be a strong voice and an effective voice for our seniors,” she explained.
Tassi said this task is important because the government “isn’t going to make any decisions without the voice of seniors and those that work so hard to support seniors.”
“Having these voices at the table is very important, getting the ground-level experience is critical because it’s going to allow us to determine where the support is truly needed and where our energies should be put in place,” she said. “I’m also hearing some good ideas. So trying to implement ideas that are raised, or at least have discussions about the possibility of bringing those ideas forward.”
Tassi estimated that by the end of the week, she’ll have made about 60 stops across the country so far, with many more to come.
“That number has yet to be determined, but I’m going to work as hard as I can and make as many stops as I can, because I’m finding that this information is very valuable.”