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Dear RTAM Member,

This postcard is being sent to each of you on the “eve” of Manitoba’s provincial election on September 10, 2019, and the federal election on October 21, 2019. Having met with the Minister of Education and opposition leaders in February and March, your Executive voiced important interests of the Retired Teachers’ Association of Manitoba (RTAM).

It is important that all parties and candidates, provincial and federal, see retired teachers as part of a force that represents and promotes support for all older adults in our provinces and country. All older Canadians deserve a secure, healthy and dignified life in their later years, with a guaranteed and sufficient source of income.

This postcard focuses on several important matters that reflects the interests of RTAM retirees across Canada including those developed by ACER-CART, the national organization of retired teachers, and our participation in the Manitoba Coalition of Seniors.

Whenever federal or provincial candidates from any party come to your door, we encourage you to ask them about the non-partisan issues contained in the following questions, along with any other issues that may be important to you.

Peggy Prendergast, President
John Sushelnitsky, Political Advocacy Chair


Here are some questions you may want to consider asking every provincial or federal political candidate who comes to your door.

  1. Are you and your party supportive of keeping the defined benefit pension plans in place for retired teachers and other workers?
    Background: There has been a federal bill that would introduce alternate pension schemes. Although all provinces and the federal government must agree in order to enact this, the result would affect retired teachers and create uncertainty with their and others’ retirement income security.
  2. Are you and your party supportive of the current provisions of The Canada Health Act which assures all Canadians universal accessibility without extra charges?
    Background: Privatization of medical services creates a two-tiered system. Those with money can get what they need/want, those without, wait in line.
  3. Are you and your party supportive of a universal, public, comprehensive accessible and portable Pharmacare program?
    Background: All provinces and the federal government must agree in order to enact a national Pharmacare plan. It is estimated that Canadian families would save $350 per year, on average.
  4. Are you and your party supportive of implementing of creating and maintaining a provincial Seniors Ministry?
    Background: The current federal government has seen fit to create such a Ministry to address the unique concerns of our increasingly growing segment of the Canadian population (seniors now and in the future will continue to outnumber children - 2016 Census, Statistics Canada). All provincial governments should have a cabinet minister responsible for the growing generation of citizens who fueled our economy. In lumping senior concerns with other generational issues, a government does not adequately focus on seniors concerns.
  5. Are you and your party supportive of implementing a National Seniors Strategy that addresses health care infrastructure, caregiver support, home care, long term care and age-friendly communities?
    Background: This will require provincial cooperation. Canadians are living longer and it is important that health care be provided to allow aging retired teachers and all Canadians, to remain healthy and active for as long as possible.
  6. Are you and your party supportive of the changes that are occurring across the provincial health care systems? If yes, why?
    Background: In order to reduce provincial debt loads, provincial governments often engage in “re-structuring”, such as that done by Manitoba’s current government. However, the re-structuring end result is often an amalgamation of institutional care facilities, which affects accessibility to the facilities, as well as reduced support programs, for retired teachers as they age and all of a province’s older citizens.

We hope these questions give you food for thought, as candidates come knocking on your door. We also hope you always exercise your right and your responsibility to vote in elections.

Remember, in September, for Manitoban RTAM members, you will be electing your provincial Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) and, in October, all RTAM members, your federal Member of Parliament (MP). Check the Federal website “elections.ca” and the Manitoba website “electionsmanitoba.ca”, for details about voting in the upcoming election(s),

Please check the RTAM website RTAM.mb.ca for valuable information and details about the above questions under the ACER-CART Committee.

WHO WE ARE

Retirement is a time of transitions. Throughout your career you belonged to the Manitoba Teachers’ Society (MTS), but upon retirement you are no longer a member. The Retired Teachers’ Association of Manitoba (RTAM) exists to serve retired teachers. We invite you to join the growing number of RTAM members and enjoy the benefits of belonging.

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