Saturday , 27 November 2021

High-income seniors, construction sites “on the agenda” for Seniors Minister visit this week

The touring of provincial government Ministers continues in the Lakeland.

Seniors and Housing Minister Josephine Pon is visiting Bonnyville, Cold Lake and Smoky Lake in the final leg of the  13 stop tour of northern Alberta communities.

Pon will be visiting the recently completed Cold Lake Lodge and the current construction of Bonnylodge, expected now to be finished early next year.

Vice Chair of Lakeland Lodge and Housing Ray Prevost said they aren’t sure what will be discussed during these brief meetings, but wants the scoring matrix for senior’s looking for housing to be reviewed.

“We’re going to obviously talk about high income seniors and income threshold. Certainly that’ll be on our agenda,” said Prevost.

When applying for a senior’s lodge, the scoring matrix gives an immediate zero out of 15 points if your yearly income is above $28,650, and applicants lose 15 more points if you don’t qualify for Alberta Seniors Cash Benefit.

Josephine Pon, Minister of Seniors and Housing.

Nor is there flexibility in the system to prioritize applicants by age, said Prevost.

“The rules and regulations at 65 don’t change. You can be 75, you can be 85, you can be 95: you’re still operating by the same rules. And I’ve always said that the need of someone 65 far outweighs what they might be at 85. So those are some of the things we want to discuss,” he said.

The discussion around high-income seniors will happen in the Cold Lake tour with Chair of Lakeland Lodge and Housing Chris Vinning, said Prevost.

The meetings will focus on issues related to affordable housing and supports for seniors and their families, the press release from the province said.

“The challenges and opportunities Albertans face when accessing seniors supports and affordable housing vary by community. I am eager to hear directly from seniors and housing organizations and Albertans about the unique needs in their cities, towns and hamlets,” said Josephine Pon, Minister of Seniors and Housing.


About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.