Monthly Column: Helping our seniors community
I would like to take the opportunity this month to talk about some of the important improvements we are taking to help our senior citizens community in Ottawa.
As you know, our populations are ageing and governments everywhere need to adapt in order to reflect these changes. The senior’s population right here in Ottawa will double between now and 2031. The average lifespan is constantly being extended thanks to scientific innovation and improved medical care.
With these thoughts in mind, I am very proud to say this City Council is taking a number of steps to make life for seniors a little bit easier:
- Prior the budget, OC Transpo had been offering free Wednesdays for seniors and this was a very popular service. In this year’s budget, we have extended free OC Transpo for seniors to Monday and Friday afternoons as well. The feedback we have received is very positive, and I am happy to hear the senior’s community in Ottawa is enjoying the new service.
- Another step we are taking is to invest $8 million in funding to make Ottawa more accessible. The infrastructure and services of our city must be friendly and accommodating for our senior’s population, and I am very happy that this council is moving forward to make this a reality.
- I am also pleased to say that within the year we will host a Seniors Summit. I intend for this to be a productive opportunity to address a number of challenges and opportunities facing our growing community of senior citizens. We will bring in experts and every day residents alike to develop strategies and policies that will enhance and improve the quality of life for our senior’s population.
As our population ages, we are also living longer. Senior’s have so much to contribute to our community; from tutoring and mentoring young people and the application of other skills, seniors are going to play an even bigger role in our society.
It is very important to me that the City addresses the specific challenges and opportunities associated with an ageing population. I am pleased of the steps I have outlined above, and I look forward to suggestions and ideas from the senior’s community now and at our Seniors Summit.