Approximately 21,707 citizens’ did not vote for Mr. Hawes. Indeed, he was elected with a mere 12% (3,068 votes) of eligible voters. Why even most councillors obtained many more. Given 10,000+ seniors are 55+ years of age, fear exists that indifference will return to the council chambers.
Indifference by successive councils has been a fact we live with. In approximately 2006 I became an advocate for seniors, the Mission Seniors’ Centre Association was tentatively ready, due diligence was done, planning was ready, directors had visited many established seniors’ activity centre, but mayor and council indifference and funding was missing. Seniors had paid for most infrastructures through lifetime of taxes but councils lacked the respect and kindness to give back a Seniors Centre.
Now 2014, too many seniors have passed on, some are ill and others fed-up, losing any hope they may enjoy a centre in their lifetime. The former CRMG formed a seniors task force, recommendations are in and we have a place to start.
However, the leading force, Mayor Ted Adlem, is gone, lead planner has retired and we get a recycled mayor who seems to lack empathy, knowledge, vision and sport a heaping indifference taking progress into a time warp circa 1990’s. So, sure some cynicism exists.
The District owns two suitable sites, adjacent the Leisure Centre and within a civic complex at Welton Commons (old Buy-Low site) but I’m told we could wrongly be looking at a different too costly location. The Leisure Centre location could find the current shared seniors facility go to youth programs.
Several crucial components need to be recognized, a cement structure for safety, three story low-cost 600 sq ft+ and up to market value condo’s the sale of which will fund most seniors centre facilities; a self-standing seniors only building, District owned and governed by seniors with option to rent space available, definitely not a multi-generation site, ground level or parkade parking. Last, a major membership and awareness program must commence.
George F. Evens, Seniors’ Advocate