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Edmonton mayoral candidates share platforms on older adults’ issues

What are the issues seniors want addressed in the upcoming municipal elections?
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A senior-focused survey showed issues around transportation are top of mind this civic election. Photo: Metro Creative Connection

On October 18th, Edmontonians will vote in a new municipal government, including a new mayor. With the latest census showing one of every five Edmontonians is over age 55, the concerns of older adults should be considered by all candidates looking to lead the city. 

To help voters see where each candidate stands on the issues, Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council (ESCC) has crafted an online Voter’s Compass. We've posed the same questions to all mayoral candidates – the responses may help older adults decide who is worthy of their vote.   

ESCC found there are key issues which are top of mind for seniors. They include accessible and affordable transportation, services that promote quality of life for older people, and consideration of older people as a unique voter base.  

Regarding assisted transportation, many candidates have indicated support for essential infrastructure that allows older adults to get around with greater ease, including DATS (Disabled Adult Transit Service), as well as analysis of accessibility, including routes and bus stop locations.   

In the past, organizations within Edmonton’s seniors serving network have identified affordable door-through-door assisted transportation as key to meeting the needs of seniors who may not have the mobility to use DATS or the income to use private ride services or cabs. Volunteer organizations are doing their best to meet this need, but the demand is high. Affordable door-through-door transportation will be a key area of interest now and into the future. Given that Edmonton will soon have a new mayor, ESCC recognizes the work ahead to ensure the elected candidate understands the value of assisted transportation. 

Many mayoral candidates have voiced support to continue with services that support social involvement in the community, such as the LAP (Leisure Access Program) that provides subsidized monthly recreation facility passes for lower income residents, including older adults. Where possible, candidates have indicated support for providing discounts.   

Furthermore, there is support for Edmonton’s senior's centres as well as interest in helping new centres get started in areas where access is a concern. A desire to build amenity-rich, connected communities features in multiple candidate platforms. Considering COVID-19, candidates further recognize the need for accessible virtual programming options, as well as the need to help older residents learn about remote activities to meet their social needs when gathering in-person is not possible.

Visit seniorscouncil.net/yeg-voters-compass to see full answers from candidates and compare their platforms. The Voter’s Compass will continue to be updated as we hear from the candidates leading up to election day.   

Are there issues you want to see on the radar? ESCC works with network stakeholders, including orders of government, to raise the profile of issues impacting older Edmontonians. Tell us what you think by emailing info@seniorscouncil.net or calling 780-423-5635.