LETTER: Castlegar senior frustrated after losing low-income status due to CERB

G. Kozak talks about the struggles of local seniors

I’m writing to express my opinion on our current government’s treatment of seniors. Last month my old age pension was reduced from $1245 to $815. Myself, and who knows how many low-income seniors, had their low income subsidy dialed back?

Based on last year’s income, working seniors who went on CERB aren’t low income anymore. With no notification, end of July our direct deposit from the government of Canada was short. I’m able to make my rent but how many low income working seniors are living month to month? We weren’t classified as low income for nothing.

I’m sure this has created a lot of stress and hardship. Still nothing compares to their treatment of long term care seniors. The late closures — during SARS they were the first to close (protect those most at risk) — then deplorable conditions, the army called in and as time wore on, no plans for visitation.

People died alone, and to some others visitation is all they have. Two rooms with a sheet of plexiglass with a slot and all the other protocols would have been huge. But no, not even in the for-profit sector that received major COVID funding.

Between the income tax I paid on my CERB and the $430 a month for the next year they will have clawed back, the whole $7000 I received (I went back to work June 2000). Now that I’m no longer classified as low income you’d think I should be doing better. Hopefully next year I’ll be low income. Thanks Justin.

G. Kozak

Castlegar BC

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