Municipal elections will soon be held in Ontario. Though it’s important for everyone to vote, the role of seniors in each election is very important. With the growing number of older adults and seniors, their vote is a powerful one and can make the difference in a close election. Election issues are also important to seniors. Many seniors rely on only the Old Age Pension and Canada Pension so any changes made by elected officials can affect their health and their lifestyle. For those running in the upcoming municipal election, it’s smart to become familiar with senior issues and work with those who comprise the largest part of the population.
Which issues are most important to seniors when it’s time to vote?
- Health care services. With bed closures and layoffs at many hospitals, seniors are looking for those who are able to improve health care services. More beds are needed at hospitals, including those that offer palliative care. Layoffs at hospitals are a huge worry for seniors. These layoffs tend to be nursing staff while administrative staff continues to grow.
- Transportation availability. Many seniors don’t drive and rely on city buses to get from place to place. Many municipal elections involve the city’s transportation costs. Increasing costs have decreased the number of bus stops in some areas.
- Tax dollars. For those who own homes, where their tax dollars go is extremely important. A mayor and city council that wish to pour most of the tax money into sports and arenas will not tend to be popular with those who are older. Making a city walkable and keeping sidewalks and streets plowed during the winter tends to rate a little higher than where the next baseball game will be.
For those running in municipal elections this October, it’s wise to remember that most of your tax dollars are coming from the older percentage of the population. The senior vote counts a lot more than they may realize. Seniors are knowledgeable in city affairs and know what’s needed in their own area. The best thing you can do is get out and talk to some of the older adults in your municipality. Find out what really counts.