Evidence of meeting #69 for Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was need.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Natalie Sonnen  Executive Director, Dying Healed
Kevin Smith  Representative, Seniors First BC
Birgit Pianosi  Associate Professor, Gerontology Department, Huntington and Laurentian Universities, As an Individual
Linda Silas  President, Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions
Vera Pawis Tabobondung  Senator, National Association of Friendship Centres

October 31st, 2017 / 5:05 p.m.


Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

Thank you so much.

I have two friendship centres in my riding, Sacred Wolf and Wachiay.

I'm asking both of you this, whoever wants to answer.

Last year, I received an extensive package with all the concerns around the lack of funding or the changes to funding. They were petitions from the Wachiay Friendship Centre, in which people specifically spelled out each service they were receiving and each service they had received.

As a service provider, I know that you both do a lot, and you see first-hand the needs of elders. Issues like food security and housing were both in high need in the information that I received. I'm wondering if you see the same and can tell us what the government can do, because this seems to be a systemic problem.

5:05 p.m.

Senator, National Association of Friendship Centres

Vera Pawis Tabobondung

For me, on what we can do, I think we have to work together on designing the community strategy, because in some places it's housing, and yet in other communities, it's not.

However, where do we study? How do we design the study so that the information we need today is what we're going to be able to action in five to 10 years, because that's how long things take? We talk about needing housing, needing housing that's appropriate for seniors. We need to have programs, whether it's the home care, the transportation that brings them to the service or to the dentist to have their health care needs met.

That's what I have right off the top, without doing a whole bunch of research and looking at what our recommendations were before.

5:10 p.m.


Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

When Statistics Canada officials came to committee, they shared with us the 2012 aboriginal peoples survey. We heard that a higher percentage of aboriginal seniors lack social support.

Do you have any ideas as to why this is happening, and what can we do to remedy it?

5:10 p.m.

Senator, National Association of Friendship Centres

Vera Pawis Tabobondung

When we start to understand the identity, we can bridge the gap between young people and old people. I believe that I have done my job by raising my children to understand their roles and responsibilities.

We come back from the city to our communities, and sometimes we have to relearn the things we didn't get. It's fun to sit down and relearn your language. You haven't used it for so long, because you worked in an economy that just didn't allow that. We went to institutions where we could study all kinds of things, but never learn about ourselves.

At the friendship centre program I go to when I have time, that is where they talk about so-and-so moving over there, or so-and-so bought a new e-bike and is getting around quite well. You can hear the community conversations. If we had time, and made a priority of all the things that have been mentioned around the table, we would get there. It's important.

5:10 p.m.


The Chair Liberal Bryan May

Thank you very much for your testimony today.

Thank you to all of you for being here and contributing to this study. I will echo Mr. Warawa's sentiment. If there are things you still want to share, please feel free to submit a brief to the committee, and of course it will be considered.

We will suspend for a moment while we get ready to do some committee business.

[Proceedings continue in camera]