Editor, The Record:
Re: Several sites floated for seniors’ centre, Oct. 20 edition.
I oppose this proposal, as it is not what seniors desire, notably top-down direction from council. Instead, we demand and deserve respect and inclusion in decisions affecting seniors; we will decide what we need and want, and if this is a concept meeting our need, we shall embrace.
Thus, as much as council likes to spin this idea, the vision and short/long term plans for seniors, are not met. The proposed 8,000 sq. ft. facility pales in comparison to needs now and for certain in five to 10 years. There does not appear to be any sign of expansion possibilities; sharing a site with a church and alluding to some shared facilities diminishes access, such as, on a Sunday. How affordable is proposed housing to meet less fortunate seniors budgets?
Seniors have bore the brunt of lack of leadership and vision, an acceptance of mediocrity and again we fear these goodies will mislead the less diligent and visionary, to possibly cause one segment of seniors to wrongly accept much less than entitled and needed.
Of the four potential sites for a seniors activity centre, the most beneficial being development of affordable housing above a 15,000 sq. ft. seniors facility (with expansion to 20,000 sq. ft. in 10-plus years) on district-owned land, is not aptly described. Instead referring to the PlayStation, which was never a long-term venture. While this may be an advantageous development opportunity for St. Andrew’s United Church, it is not seen as a visionary conceptual development longer term for seniors’ needs. So, while we may not like to rain on one’s parade, saner minds must prevail and seniors leadership must hold out for optimal benefit.
Finally, Mission Seniors Centre Association requested permanent and full use of the community activity centre, wherein seniors are a current tenant, but council side-stepped again, referring to staff for a review. This was followed by ongoing, ever-present patronizing about what a fine group of seniors, doing admirable scheduling of events and demonstrating seniors are worthy of council recognition. Sadly, council perpetuate a veiled disrespect and no reward by unequivocally and graciously giving seniors the sole use of the facility until a new home is built.
George F. Evens
Elder Citizens Action Coalition