BC FORUM News - from the Alliance of Seniors’ Centres
Posted April, 2020
Seniors groups ask the Federal Government
to protect vulnerable seniors
“Low income seniors are very worried about their financial security” said Marion Pollack, Board President of the 411 Seniors Centre, which is part of the Alliance of Seniors’ Centres of BC (ASC-BC), a group of community-based senior-serving organizations.
“Low income seniors rely of on the Federal Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) in order to be able to buy groceries, purchase medications and pay rent“ said Jane Goodridge, ASC-BC President and Board member with the West End Seniors’ Network, another member agency of ASC-BC.
“In order to receive the GIS a senior must file their income taxes by the May 31, 2020 deadline” stated Les Blond, Board President of the South Granville Seniors Centre, another member agency of ASC-BC. “The problem is that many seniors rely on community-based income tax clinics to file their income tax. These clinics are closed due to COVID-19.”
“Even if some income tax clinics get set up and begin operating remotely, they won’t be able to handle the volume of seniors needing assistance by May 31,” Pollack continued. “If they don’t or can’t file their income tax, they will lose their GIS. This means they will be forced into deep poverty. This is unacceptable.”
This is why the member agencies of ASC-BC are calling on the Federal Government to protect vulnerable seniors by taking the following actions:
• Extending the income tax deadline for seniors 65 years of age and older until the end of December 2020.
• Maintaining seniors GIS at their 2019 rate, and ensuring that the quarterly cost of living increases continue to apply.
Read the letter sent to the Federal Government Ministers here.