Surrey Seniors Connection Portal
Edition 2-3 September -December 2015

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This page explores ideas that are being discussed by seniors in Surrey.
They have been brought to the attention of the Planning Table by our members.
September 2014: Seniors Do Their Share, and More

It’s getting a little boring, the constant drone in the media about how our aging population is going to be such a drain on the resources of the country. You’ve heard the litany: health care, home care, pensions. If you were a bit paranoid, you might suspect that someone had a specific campaign in mind.

The Public Doesn’t Have the Facts
But we’re not paranoid. We’d like to think that people are just misinformed. Or perhaps not informed at all. (Another definition for “uninformed” is “ignorant,” but we don’t want to go there.)
What these prophets of doom are missing is the contribution that the older members of our population make to their families, their communities, and society in general. In a time when governments are slashing taxes and reducing social services in order to benefit the taxpayer - in other words, the people who are making money - it might be nice to consider one large support for the backbone of Canadian society: the volunteer.
Canada’s social system runs on the backs of volunteers. Think for just a moment of all the events and services you take part in that are wholly or partially run by volunteers. Believe that there are a whole lot more that you don’t even know about.
What Are Volunteers Worth?
According to Statistics Canada, almost half of Canadians spend some time as volunteers, providing about 2 billion hours of community service every year. This is a benefit to the country of over 1 million full-time jobs, and even at minimum wage saves the taxpayer about $20 billion a year. That’s more than half the yearly tax revenue of British Columbia. That’s 10% of Canada’s total Health budget. Free.
And that only counts the members of official volunteer organizations. 83% of Canadians give some of their time to help others on an informal basis as well.
If you want to add in the psychological benefits of the help that we all give, both to those we help and to ourselves, the value is incalculable.

Contribution of Seniors
And seniors are above average in the share of their time they donate. Seniors who volunteer average 233 hours a year, which equates to almost 6 weeks of full-time work. Add to this the informal time they spend in crucial areas like childcare, and you can’t help but conclude that all these old people running around enjoying their retirement at government expense are still pulling their own weight. Even after the statistics are adjusted for the expanded waistlines brought on by all that high living they can afford on their luxurious pensions.

Quality of Service
So perhaps we might persuade you “taxpayers” to think before you complain about paying indirectly for these people who are doing so much for you for free. We work hard; we each have a lifetime of skills and knowledge, and the experience to make our time worthwhile on any job we do. If your taxes have to go up a little, maybe you should think about what you get for free in this country before you complain. And who is giving it to you.
And most of us are still paying taxes, too.


The "For Rent" has been Rented - Sorry

Mohammed Rafiq
Gordon A. Long

Conributing Editors

Cantonese - Geoffrey Young
French - Marie-Jose Patterson
Hindi - Rajeev Vishwakarma
Korean - Myung Lee
Punjabi Archna Sharma
Urdu - M Rafiq
Vietnamese - Kim Be Howard
Spanish - Lidia Lee 

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