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LETTER: Seniors grants hard to reach

Don’t let writing letters to the editor become a dying art.
Don’t let writing letters to the editor become a dying art.

Ms. MacLean's well-articulated letter cries out for an answer from "whoever" is now responsible for seniors issues in Nova Scotia.

The answer just may be staring government right in their collective faces. Revive the role of the senior citizens' secretariat that through successive governments of all stripes has been shelved or mothballed or had its mandate altered so drastically as to no longer be relevant or reflect the mandate of the original senior citizens' secretariat.

That mandate was clear in the minds of government when the secretariat was first established in April,1980 – of which I was the founding chairman, and Dr. Fred MacKinnon, lifelong public servant and social services 'trailblazer', was the first executive director.

The mandate was simple and developed not "top-down" government directive, but evolved from many meetings and seminars from Yarmouth through to Cape North. Those meetings were established to hear directly from seniors themselves. What did they feel should be done for seniors to have easy access to all government services, be it housing issues, health issues, income-related issues and many more, with a single door entry to those services. The result was the establishment of the senior citizens' secretariat. It worked and before very long seniors across

Nova Scotia could easily reach those services that they required support for and action to get it done.

Someone once wisely said that our communities are judged by how we treat those who laid the foundations and built our communities – our senior citizens.
My advice to governments of the day is, dust off the cobwebs and dust of the senior citizens' mandate files and reach out and reopen that single door entry to seniors' services.

Respectfully,
Jack MacIsaac
Halifax

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