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President's Message

By Lynn Hitsman

This past October, I attended the RTO/ERO Senate meeting. Many interesting points were raised. I wish to share a few with you.

RTO/ERO has set three strategic goals for this year:
-recognition of RTO/ERO as trusted voice of senior citizens
-improving the lives of seniors
-broadening the membership base of RTO/ERO
Each of these three goals is aimed at our current membership, but realizes that we are only part of the retired population in Ontario and in Canada.

There was a great deal of discussion and sharing of ideas on how to “brand” RTO/ERO.
Branding is seen as a promise of what to expect from a business, organization or corporation.  or the ideals for which the business stand. It is often makes a company recognizable by its tag line: “Just Do It”. The provision of quality, affordable health insurance will always be the primary goal of the organization, but in order to gain more members from retirees who have been involved in education, we must build a brand that is reliable, clear and understood.

There was discussion of Federal Bill C 27 – Pension Reform. Although it is sitting on a shelf at the moment, after an election next fall, it might get dusted off. While this bill is related to federal employees’ pensions, it is significant because changes made federally could be considered provincially which would affect our pensions. We have defined benefit pensions from OTPP, but a provincial version of Bill C27 would change that. More will be published in a later newsletter.

There were several presentations on the topic of Age Friendliness. The principles need to be understood, funded and implemented at municipal, provincial and federal levels of government. They include making park benches with armrests for each seat so that elderly people can stand up with support; changing the timing of crossing lights to enable people using assistive devices to cross the street safely or having social worker/paramedics who investigate senior citizens’ repeated calls to 911 to help organize medication, social interaction or perhaps other housing arrangements. There is a whole world of situations that need consideration for our society as the 65 year plus age group moves forward. “We are the Silver Triumph”, said one presenter. I agree.

Best wishes for health and happiness in 2019.



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