CARP in the Corridors of POWER (from the Annual Advocacy Report 2013)
On Friday, November 1, as Canada’s Finance Ministers met in Toronto, what was at the very top of their agenda? Pension reform – a testament to years of unrelenting research, groundwork and pressure from CARP. Following the global recession, CARP called for comprehensive pension reform to protect Canadians from the kind of personal ﬁnancial loss suﬀered in the market meltdown and to help people save adequately for their retirement. And while CARP’s proposed universal pension plan is not yet in place, the public discourse has shifted irreversibly and the conversation is about when and what change is needed – not whether.
This is just one example of how CARP’s sustained advocacy, thorough research, meeting with experts, surveying CARP members, and engaging the media, non-governmental groups, and politicians obtains results that speak for themselves.
Here are some of the issues on which CARP has been able to move the dial in 2013:
- CARP extracted election promises for a caregiver tax credit and it anchors election platforms federally and provincially
- Governments at all levels now routinely talk about patient and seniors- focused care; CARP has challenged each province to show us what progress has been made and our local chapters will be there to follow up
- CARP’s calls for stiffer sentencing for elder abuse convictions and a comprehensive strategy to eradicate this scourge yielded an amendment to the Criminal Code; we’re now taking the issue to the provinces, which can provide the services and provisions that can detect, investigate and prosecute abuse and help victims
- Having won the long battle to end mandatory retirement in federally regulated industries, CARP is now turning to the rights of older workers to continue working without facing discrimination, to achieve ﬁnancial security and prepare for retirement and to recover from the devastation of their savings in the recent market downturn; CARP is also engaging employers in order to ensure fair treatment of older workers
- Governments have begun to move on CARP’s long campaign for a One Patient model, which proposes a care continuum to address the full spectrum of health needs – emotional, mental, social, and physical – from ﬁrst diagnosis, through acute and long-term care, to end of life; this requires stable funding and mandatory standards of home care, income support for caregivers, especially those providing heavy care, geriatric care, assisted living services at home and in aﬀordable housing, equitable access to decent nursing homes and quality end of life care
- CARP intervened in support of a National Securities Regulator (NSR) to call for a dedicated national investor protection agency; despite a temporary setback in December 2011 when the Supreme Court disallowed a NSR on the federal government’s proposed terms, Ontario and British Columbia have agreed with the federal government to form a Common Capital Markets Regulator, covering most of the securities activity in Canada, and including the investor protection provision
- CARP has used the opportunity at public forums convened by industry and regulators to call for better accountability from self-regulated ﬁnancial advisors