Premier announces deputy minister departures, appointments 06 February 2015

The premier announced the following changes to deputy ministerial responsibilities:
  • Edith Doucet becomes the clerk of the Executive Council and secretary to cabinet and remains deputy minister of Healthy and Inclusive Communities;
  • Lisa Doucette becomes deputy minister of Social Development on an acting basis;
  • Sadie Perron becomes deputy minister of Transportation and Infrastructure on an acting basis;
  • Gordon Gilman becomes deputy minister of Government Services and president of Service New Brunswick and the New Brunswick Internal Services Agency on an acting basis and,
  • Kelly Cain becomes deputy minister of Tourism, Heritage and Culture in addition to her responsibilities as deputy minister of Human Resources.

Engage NB 2015

The Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Homes Residents Rights is pleased to submit the following response to better serve the needs of New Brunswickers:

1.      What does a thriving New Brunswick look like to you 10 years from now?
a.       A vision with a focus on a healthy thriving workforce, i.e. putting people back to work with   worthy wages, lift people out of poverty, provide affordable housing, and education opportunities.
b.      Ensure that all seniors have a voice in their care, the ability to select and live in their community of choice in affordable housing, or coop-housing and with trained staff in a ratio that meets the needs of the elderly population.
c)       Rework the Public Transit model, a social justice issue, to meet the needs of the population, i.e. our youth, working people and the aging population.

2.       Thinking of all of the things government spends money on to provide the residents of New Brunswick with services, what are three things that you think government could stop doing to save money?

a)      Streamline top level bureaucrats with comparable income, and remove all bonuses, incentives and free grants to corporations.

b)      One of the major issues facing seniors and the health care system is the number of seniors staying in acute hospital beds while waiting for nursing care placement and the lack of a home care program. Incorporate home support workers under the auspices of the Regional Health Authority in order to provide for improved home care support. Return to the Graham government strategy on increasing nursing home beds for those who are on the wait- list. (Study already done).

c)       There are 64 licensed nursing homes in the province's eight regions with 4427 beds. They are formed under the provinces Companies Act, as non-profit organizations.   Many nursing homes receive 85 -100% funding from government. Executive Directors could be responsible for twenty (20) or more beds. This would alleviate added costs to government and administration of the home.

3.        With all of the financial challenges facing our province, what three things do you think       government could do to raise money?

a)      Establish Toll highways at critical points of entry to the province.

b)      Implement the Public Auto Insurance program that will create jobs and invest money in the province in place of off shore jobs. This model was supported by all political parties in 2004. (Final Report on Public Automobile Insurance in New Brunswick, April 2004) First Session Fifty- fifth legislature).
c)       The cost to keep seniors in Acute Hospital beds is an enormous burden to taxpayers, ($1000 per day per patient). A home care model as established in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, with the seniors’ portfolio to be the responsibility of the Department of Health.
Some medical buildings within the province could be modified to accommodate seniors who are currently occupying Acute Hospital beds, which would create job opportunities with in the system.

The aging population is growing; the number of seniors (over 65) is expected to increase dramatically over the next 25 years. Eliminating services to the aging population is unacceptable; this will only create undue hardship and be more costly at the end of the day.

The Coalition respectfully requests that serious consideration be given to this submission and that the present government start listening to the voices of New Brunswickers.

Respectfully submitted
On behalf of the Coalition Board of Directors

Cecile Cassista

Cecile Cassista
Executive Director

January 2015 Nursing Home Wait list

Seniors to get modest CPP, OAS raise Adjustments based on consumer price index changes The Daily Gleaner December 29, 2014

   Canada’s pensioners are getting a modest raise.    Employment and Social Development Canada announced the benefit amounts for the Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security effective Jan. 1.    CPP benefits will increase by 1.8 per cent for those already receiving Canada Pension.  

For 2015, the maximum CPP retirement benefit for new recipients age 65 will be $1,065 a month. This increase is calculated on the average yearly maximum pensionable earnings for the last five years. The new CPP rates will be in effect until Dec.  31.   

Canada Pension benefits are revised once a year, in January, based on the consumer price index changes over 12 months, in this case from November 2013 to October 2014, said a news release from the federal government.    The index is the cost-of-living measure used by Statistics Canada.

Old Age Security benefits, which consist of the basic OAS pension, the guaranteed income supplement and the allowances, will remain the same for the first quarter of 2015.    As of Jan. 1, 2015, the basic OAS benefit will stay at $563.74 per month.

OAS benefits are also based on the consumer price index but are reviewed in January, April, July and October and revised as required to reflect increases in the cost of living. Although OAS and CPP benefits are not indexed at the same time, they are both adjusted with the cost of living over a given year, the news release said.  

Old Age Security is funded through general tax revenues and provides a basic monthly income for Canadian seniors. In 2013-14, about $41.8 billion in benefits were provided to 5.4 million individuals.  

The CPP, or the Quebec Pension Plan in Quebec, is funded through contributions by Canadian workers, their employers and the self-employed and through investment earnings on the plan’s funds. In addition to retirement benefits, the plan provides disability, death, survivor and children’s benefits.

Nursing Home Waitlist November 2014

Department of Social Development Annual Report 2013 - 2014, Posted December 29, 2014

Please scroll down to reports to view the 2013 -2014 annual report

Christmas Message - Posted December 19, 2014

On behalf of the Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Home Residents' Rights, together with its partners
 We wish you a Merry Christmas and Safe Holidays

Board meeting November 14, 2014

Key points discussed and recommended at the board meeting on November 14, 2014

  • Co- Pay Prescription Drugs
  • 10 for 10 achievements
  •  Seniors Issues Matter - Aging in Place
  • Veterans Disability Pension protection
  • Standard Contribution Policy Booklet
  • Meeting with Minster Social Development composite of attendees 
  • Special Care Homes staffing ratios  and eviction policy
  • Specialized Beds
  • Home Care Association Colloboration
  • CARP appointment
  • Discrimination - Cheery Picking, Nursing Homes and Special Care
  • Criteria/ definition of levels of Care

Coalition Welcomes New Groups November 14, 2014

(Moncton)  The Coalition for Seniors will hold its board meeting today at Peoples Park Tower, 960 St George Blvd starting at 10:00 a.m. (Media are welcome for photo opt and interviews)
The Executive Director for the Coalition, Cecile Cassista says after celebrating 10 years of achievement other seniors groups recognizes the importance of working together.
 It will be a significant day for the group as three new member groups join to delivery their message on senior policies to the newly elected government. The New Brunswick Seniors Citizen Federation, Riverview Veterans & Armed Forces Association and CN Pensioners have appointed representatives to the Coalition board.
On the agenda the board will also discuss as to whether to collaborate with the New Brunswick Home Care Association that has expressed an interest to work on common issues relative to seniors.
Cassista,  states in addition  to the achievements  being unveiled at the June meeting  the Board will  discuss its affirmation on, “ Seniors Issues Matter “Aging in place “.
The Coalition will be seeking a meeting with government officials to deal with policies that need addressing. Growing the Coalition in numbers is important to get its message across that seniors polices need to improve and be protected says Cassista.
Seniors and Veterans cannot be forgotten by this government.

For more information: Contact:  Cecile Cassista, 506 860 7682 or Cell.  850 5655