LETTER: Safe Surrey Coalition tactics smack of ageism


As president of CARP in Surrey, I am alarmed daily at Mayor McCallum and his Safe Surrey Coalition’s callousness regarding older adults. Much of it smacks of ageism and elder abuse.

For example, public participation at council meetings by phone has been cancelled leaving immune-compromised seniors no option other than writing in their concerns. Unfortunately, write-ins are not heard in real time and are often disregarded.

Additionally, seven seniors have been served with a court order banning them from all council meetings. These same seniors, plus a host of others, including me, have been blocked from commenting on SSCoalition’s social media posts which brag about its victories at council and elsewhere.

Not only is the mayor and his four SSC councillors impinging on the rights of elders but on First Nations as well. A proposal for a new seniors’ care campus in South Surrey has been put forward without any consultation with the Semiahmoo First Nation, despite its location within the territory of SFN’s heritage site.

This area at 228 175A St. in South Surrey lacks public transit, services and familiarity older adults want and need. It is also minutes away from a farm blamed for a sickening stink that has repeatedly violated environmental orders.

Being a senior himself, Mayor McCallum should be more cognizant of the needs of his constituents, not only the whims of his developer friends. I am not against development, far from it, but it needs to be done in such a way that it takes what is good and right into consideration and avoids harming our environment, our First Nations, and our elders.

CARP, also known as the Canadian Association of Retired Persons, is Canada’s largest non-profit advocacy association supporting the rights of Canadians as we age.

We deserve a voice at the table and denying us is not the democracy we have fought for over the years. Elders have much to offer and our voices deserve to be heard.

Denying us our rights smacks of ageism, elder abuse, and much more.

Ramona Kaptyn, president, CARP White Rock Surrey; director, CARP, National Board

Editor’s note: Ramona Kaptyn is a member of the Surrey Connect slate, which will run against the SCC in the next municipal election.

Letter to the EditorPoliticsSeniors