Always keeping tabs of how our Canadian government is looking out for Canadians who have the misfortune of being born into poverty, along with senior citizens.
In the ‘50’s poverty and substance abuse wasn’t necessarily looked after. However (back then) I remember the Catholic Church helping us out. Still remember the Nuns feeding us and teaching me how to read. One Nun in particular, I still remember her name to this very day, Sister Vincent Mary. If it wasn’t for her extra time and support, school would have of been much harder. She would bring me food each morning, so I could have some kind of breakfast, saying,” You can’t learn on an empty stomach dear.”
Sister Vincent Mary was like that mother you never had, nurturing me throughout Grade One and Two.
ON THAT – A QUICK NOTE :
To be clear, I’m NOT religious, but do recognize how the community churches can help those struggling. Most recently, I’ve noticed how some will abuse the system. Totally against that too.
I understand how you may be surprised to learn I’m not religious, considering how the Catholic Church looked after us. After years of studying various religions, it was clear to me how man-made religion is destroying our society, to this very minute. To fight over whose GOD is better then the others, is unconscionable. Unfortunately, mankind is plagued by the misuse of religious beliefs. This is why I considered myself SPIRITUAL and NOT religious. I believe in a GOD, but not how you would think.
SENIOR POVERTY – HOLDING ON TO DIGNITY AND RESPECT
Anyway – Today, our government has become more active in helping those in poverty, which is good to hear.
Read this article
Going into Retirement, I’m still afraid of the “Wolf Knocking on our Door”. Poverty isn’t something you want to experience. It’s not only degrading to your human spirit but totally unhealthy to YOU as a person.
I’m hopeful and inspired the “Government of Canada has increased the GIS (Guaranteed Income Supplement) for the lowest-income seniors by up to $600 annually for single seniors and $840 for couples. This investment of $300 million each year improves the well-being of approximately 680 000 seniors across Canada. It is the highest percentage increase in over 25 years. Read more HERE.
Settling into retirement with a fixed income is pretty scary, where your set-income stays the same, while everything else keeps rising. Eventually food, transportation and housing becomes out-of-reach.
For example, if you totally relied on the retirement figures, this would be your income today as a senior couple :
RETIREMENT COUPLE INCOME: $1890 per month.
This is why RRSP’s are SO important to establish. As well, if your spouse dies, then your income is cut in half.
$1890 is barely enough income to pay mortgage or rent, food and expenses. Eventually, your car becomes a luxury,
Don’t think to rely on a company pension either.
My grandmother was a teacher. During the 1970’s an accountant misused their funds and she lost that side of her income. It’s NOT the fear the company may fold. No…it’s if someone responsible for all that money, fraudulently takes that money 💰 for themselves ; or its invested poorly.
The point is you must be prepared for some kind of nest egg in your senior years. IF NOT, it may lead to a precarious situation, finding yourself in complete poverty.
Thankfully, our Canadian system has programs to help out, as well as community support.
The only thing they haven’t done for seniors, is set up private homes for low-income. I’m NOT talking about rental system, I’m talking about your own “freehold” homes. Maybe a government outreach system can help seniors who already own a home and haven’t been able to pay off the mortgage.
Before, it was the norm for earners to pay off their mortgage before they retire. However, that equation has become increasingly out-of-reach, due to the scale of real estate.
Today, it’s a fact, each senior will most likely have a mortgage to attend to after retirement. I believe the banks should become more aware of that equation, because (believe it or not) a monthly mortgage is cheaper then rent. So, it only makes sense for banks to change their prospective.
The last thing you want to see, is a senior homeless, simply because their spouse died before them and/or they can’t afford their own home any more.
In today’s scenario, you can’t rely on staying with your children. Most likely, they are drowning in debt, due to our increase economy. Adding on an increase expense (their parents) wouldn’t end well.
POVERTY AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE
I know what poverty is and how substance abuse can effect ones life. My real mum (mom) was an alcoholic. She would do anything to have that next fix. Even though, my dad had a good trade, my mum would use any extra income on alcohol. Back then, my dad worked up North, sending money home to pay for groceries and the mortgage. Most of that money went into my mom’s addiction. I still can remember her stealing groceries from the supermarket and forging checks, to hide her addiction. There were times, we were in the police station, as my mum was arrested. Believe you me, the cops back then were unforgiving, treating us like dirt. Remember one time, this police captain saying to my uncle Ron (who ended being the one picking me up) , “ Will you get this goddam kid off my desk, can’t stand looking at him.”
I was only 6 years old.
Police have grown since then, with community outposts. However, some still have this “power of authority”, misusing it to their own personal advantage (bully if you will). However, I’ve met some respectful police officers who are only doing their job. Their job can be overwhelming, to say the least. They too have their demons.
Going back to my Mum ; even though her addiction consumed her life, she must of realized how important a home is, because the mortgage was always paid. However, homes back then cost nearly nothing. It only took one income not two.
The point is, poverty is more then you think. It’s NOT only a lack of funds, it’s addiction that can lead to poverty and even death.
Born within an alcoholic mum brought personal challenges to me and my sister. We’ve adapted throughout our whole life to compensate for it.
I’m not saying my mum was a bad person. Far from the truth. She unfortunately had an addiction (disease, if you will) that kept her struggling until her early death. When sober, she would pamper us the best way she knew how. In an alcoholic rage, I would sometimes be locked in a closet, for what seemed like hours. After coming to her senses, she would be crying, holding me,” I didn’t mean it baby. I didn’t mean it. Mommy’s not doing too well. Sorry baby, Mommy’s so sorry. I love you.”
We would hug like there’s no tomorrow.
The next day, Mum would be buy me a toy, to make up for her discretions. It was common for my sister and I to stay in the car for hours, while she was drinking in her favourite salon. Mum driving home drunk was the norm. I’m surprised to this day, we weren’t in an accident.
My dad has his own demons and would physically abuse my mum because of her alcoholism. Remembering a dysfunctional family back then, from them throwing plates at each other to unthinkable events, you would only think would happen in a horror movie. My sister and I would have our regular beatings. Many times I was thrown down a flight of stairs, landing on a concrete basement floor. Don’t know how long I lye there unconscious, but remember picking myself up, bruised and war torn. Point blank ; my father was extremely abusive to all of us and that’s one thing I have never forgiven.
Unless it’s happened to you, it’s very hard to understand.
POVERTY OUTCOME AND OUR FUTURE
Poverty is something our government needs to address with our increasingly economy. I can’t imagine going back into poverty, just because of retirement. As a matter of fact, I won’t. One way or another, I’ll keep my dignity.
Poverty and substance abuse must be addressed in our near future, otherwise the world won’t be able to control the outcome.
Something to think about for whatever government gets into power.
Yes. Our Canadian government. The system needs to change into the betterment for human beings. Any government in control of CANADA 🇨🇦 must start to realize, they ARE ACCOUNTABLE to each Canadian citizen. We are NOT pawns to be played with in your political conquest. WE ARE HUMAN BEINGS. The responsibility of a political leader to its Canadian citizens is extremely important.
You know, if Jody Wilson-Raybould decided to run for Prime Minister, I would truly vote for her. To me, she’s someone that stands up for Canadians, adding accountability to our Canadian government. I’m not really one hundred percent liberal or conservative. Maybe we need a new government more accountable for their actions. WE could call it : THE CANADIAN COLLECTIVE with a slogan “ We hold ourselves accountable to ALL Canadians, not just the rich.”
After-all, all we’re looking for, is NOT to worry about that wolf knocking on our door (aka Poverty). WE Canadians will do our part, working hard and paying our taxes. But please give the poor and our senior citizens the respect they deserve.
And YES – I believe Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should apologize to Jody Wilson-Raybould. It’s unconscionable for our Prime Minister to hide under his cover-up attempts. Thank you Jody for taking the “last stand” for ALL CANADIANS. I truly respect and appreciate you holding up the laws of the perspective FIRST NATIONS lands, we now hold dear to us.
Bari Demers – screenwriter and storyteller