PEI·PEI Votes

Why some seniors are concerned about housing, health care and climate change

Housing affordability, health care and climate change are top of mind for some seniors in this year's election.

'My pension hardly covers my living expenses'

Shirley Callaghan is voting in District 13 and says housing and climate change are important issues for her in this election. (Isabella Zavarise/CBC)

Housing affordability, health care and climate change are top of mind for some seniors in this year's election.

CBC News spoke to a few senior citizens on the Victoria Park boardwalk in Charlottetown on Tuesday to hear their concerns. 

Shirley Callaghan is voting in District 13 Charlottetown-Brighton and said she and her husband want to see more affordable housing for seniors and the homeless. 

"You know, you've got to have a place to call home and I don't think everybody has that. So, I hope the government addresses that need," she said. 

She also mentioned the government report that found Canada is warming at twice the global rate due to greenhouse gas emissions as being a crucial issue for political parties. 

"When you get thousands of children on the street, young people on the street, worried about the fate of the planet — it seems like that should be a first priority," she said. 

More health-care professionals

Callaghan also relayed her lack of a decision on the referendum ballot.

"I'm still confused about that … I think there are pros and cons to both of them."

The referendum is something Parkdale resident Donnie Brown said is adding to the importance of this year's election. He said he'd also like to see an emphasis from each political party on long-term care options for seniors. 

They say get out and meet people but it's hard to find places to go.-Janice Francis

"We own our home right now but in the future years we may be selling and moving to a seniors' home," he said. 

Brown — who is voting in District 11 — said hiring more health-care professionals across the province and reducing wait times at clinics is another thing he'll be looking for in each campaign. 

"We're fortunate. We've had a family doctor for all our lives … but there's lots of people out there that do not."

Donnie Brown is voting in District 11. He says he's invested in this year's election more than other years because of the referendum. (Isabella Zavarise/CBC)

For Janice Francis who will also be voting in District 13, low cost housing is critical.

"My pension hardly covers my living expenses," she said. 

Currently she pays $850 for rent with very little left for other expenses. On top of having a more affordable place to live, she'd also like to live somewhere where she can connect with other seniors. 

"They say get out and meet people but it's hard to find places to go."

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About the Author

Isabella Zavarise is a video journalist with CBC in P.E.I. You can contact her at isabella.zavarise@cbc.ca

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