Like many devious acts undertaken by all levels of government, stealth is a tactic.
When I learned of what I am about to share, my stomach developed a huge knot. I won’t put a candy coating on this. There is only one way to break the news on this one.
The Mayor and a few members of Brampton City Council are offering the Flower City Seniors’ Campus as a site for the proposed new university being contemplated for Brampton.
There are a number of immense paradoxes at work on this one. At a time when the Province of Ontario has become the single largest non-national debt bearer of any jurisdiction in North America the notion of building another university – though noble is just plain DUMB. The Flower City Seniors’ Campus is a treasure and a vital lifeline for seniors.
Aging and old-age know no color, religious or racial boundaries. When the Flower City Seniors’ Campus opened its doors in 2005, it hoped to attract 500 seniors. Today, over 4,000 seniors from Brampton and area avail themselves of over 170 structured programs. Monthly, as a result of the “campus” numerous social and recreational activities become available for senior citizens. Those activities range from bus trips (non-subsidized but very popular) and in house recreational functions aimed at keeping seniors active and providing interaction with other seniors.
A reminder of what life for seniors was like before 2005 in Brampton involved sitting in the local shopping plaza in hope of meeting other seniors or the occasional event at the general recreation centers that would be suitable for seniors.
Who is Behind This?
Look. I am a senior citizen and have neither the interest nor the financial resources to engage in defense in court for simply “telling it like it is”. Justice is very costly.
There are at least four members of the present City Council who will quite happily kick seniors to the curb like trash and turn the site over to a future university. Even co-existing with a university campus on the 11 acre site is intrusive and not conducive to the calmer pace and dignity which seniors have earned.
I will happily share the names of present city council members AS WELL AS names of individuals who will be seeking your vote in 2018 as they attempt to become members of the City Council. I will do that privately and URGE you to NOT support anyone who feels that senior citizens do not matter in Brampton.
Grey Power coming
The 2011 census (from Statistics Canada) evidences that seniors represent a sizable part of Brampton’s population. There are over 100,000 seniors living in Brampton. We have built this community, raised families here and certainly paid our own way. A bit of dignity is certainly not too much to ask.
We are not fools and not nearly as addle-minded as slick-politicos may wish. We will likely be told that the existing seniors’ centre will be moved or replaced. (A stupid and very empty promise!) One needs only look at what happened at Peel Memorial Hospital after Brampton Civic Hospital opened. Never forget that political promises were made to rebuild and re-open Peel Memorial. Now, ten years later with a special “hospital levy” tacked onto municipal tax bills; look at your new “walk-in-medical clinic”. The irony of that BIG LIE is that neither the Ontario Government nor our local Municipal Government are daring to refer to the rebuilt PMH site as a “hospital”. If you believe promises of a new and relocated Flower City Seniors Campus, I have some swamp land for sale too.
My personal response to the promise of relocation etc is simply to say “no thanks” and “build the university elsewhere in the City – including down town which is badly in need of redevelopment.
Folks, we are not dead yet. We have been around long enough to know how to organize. We should not have to engage in a fight for basic dignity. Respect for the aged is badly missing among the special little group of “snowflakes” who consider us as used up. We vote.
We are about to get clobbered with another huge tax grab form the present political party running things at Queens Park. There are a huge number of us, surviving on fixed incomes and living at or near the poverty level. Too many of my aging friends face the grim task of choosing between “eating” or “heating” when the monthly household bills arrive. Can we not (at least) retain the dignity of having a healthy place to visit and socialize with other seniors?
Unless there is a paradigm change in mind among factions at city council, I suspect that many of us will be relocating – right into the visitor seats at Brampton City Council. Let’s nip this in the bud.
Follow Lloyd’s articles on Twitter @LloydFournier1
Copyright Thunderbird Rising 2017
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