South Surrey-White Rock MP Gordie Hogg speaks at a seniors’ forum on crime and safety, held May 24 at the White Rock Community Centre. (Contributed photo)

South Surrey-White Rock MP Gordie Hogg speaks at a seniors’ forum on crime and safety, held May 24 at the White Rock Community Centre. (Contributed photo)

White Rock forum explores seniors’ safety issues

More meetings planned throughout B.C.

Seniors issues and the challenges of aging were explored by a “blue ribbon” panel of experts at a community meeting last Friday (May 24) at the White Rock Community Centre.

According to a news release, isolation, economic uncertainty and elder abuse, along with health and public-safety issues, were among topics covered by South Surrey-White Rock MP Gordie Hogg, Surrey Coun. Linda Annis, retired Delta police chief Jim Cessford, and Ramona Kaptyn, president of the White Rock-Surrey Chapter of CARP.

The meeting, sponsored by the Liberal Party of Canada and Seniors Liberal Commission of B.C., was chaired by former Surrey councillor Judy Higginbotham.

Comments from panellists included that isolation, loneliness and depression were some of the major issues encountered in Delta, the release states, noting Cessford said he advocated for establishing more community outreach programs which bring seniors together with the broader community, in particular, access and opportunities with youth.

Annis focused on public-safety concerns in Surrey and the under-reported crime of ‘elder abuse.’

“Many seniors living in isolation are vulnerable to fraud, confusion and vulnerability about monetary issues within the family and safety in walking our streets,” Annis said in the release.

Kaptyn stressed the work of CARP as a Canada-wide advocate and voice for seniors; and, Hogg outlined the changes in recent federal budgets aimed at addressing housing shortages and affordability; changes to the Income Tax Act; and adjustments to federal subsidies and programs for seniors.

More meetings are to be held throughout B.C. in the coming months, with the input gathered to be posted at federalslcbc.ca and presented to the election platform committee ahead of the general election this fall, according to the release.

For more information, contact Higginbotham at 604-535-9196 or jehigginbotham@shaw.ca