It is easy to blame seniors for the mounting financial burden of healthcare. Statistics are stacked against them, and having left the labour market, they are not organized. These conditions allow ageism to operate with impunity. But examining the context in which seniors incur a high proportion of healthcare costs reveals many factors for which they are not responsible. Reinvestment in public healthcare would enable everyone not only to avoid the worst impacts of senescence, but also to enjoy physical, mental, and social well-being as they age with dignity.
Canada’s rejection of the Roma is a far cry from the past when our willingness to admit refugees won us a United Nations Nansen Medal in 1982. In those days, we took in thousands of Czechs, Ugandans, Vietnamese, Laotians, Cambodians, Lebanese and Chinese as they fled conflict zones. Today, the government points to geopolitical realities as reasons to sort refugees into deserving and undeserving groups. It asserts suspicion not compassion, exclusion not inclusion, family division not family reunification. It defies the spirit of the Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees whose obligations we assumed when we signed that agreement.