After the AGM, Susan Eng, VP, CARP Advocacy, presented the congregated chapter members with CARP’s first Annual Advocacy Report. The document outlined how we have moved towards our goals and strategically selected our methods this year. We opted to boost our evidence-based advocacy capacity by producing more relevant research documents to influence the public and political discourse ‘framing’ the issue for discussion.
We have also strived to expand our coalition building and chapter networks. This approach proved valuable this year when we initiated our caregiver campaign with the collaboration of the Canadian Caregiver Coalition as well as during the election when the chapters represented an important local presence and reinforced CARP advocacy’s message in the local constituencies.
We have considerably expanded our communications vehicles and our media presence. Via the newsstand launch of the new and expanded Zoomer magazine (which will feature more CARP Advocacy pages than ever before) we anticipate our message will reach an even greater readership. As a result of our vigilant media monitoring we have been able to seize and capitalize on the issues as they arise. Our increased capacity for evidence-based advocacy has also contributed to our rise in credibility as a media source of record for journalists.
Another section of the Annual Report focused on our results and outlined how we fought for your Finances, your Health and your Rights this year. First, responding to your primary concerns, we outlined the initiatives we have taken to protect your pensions and finances from the manmade tsunami currently sweeping through most economies.
We also elaborated on the positions we have taken this year with the aim of improving the healthcare system for Canadians. We have initiated campaigns to reduce wait times, cut through red tape, facilitate access to PET scans, increase compensation for caregivers, reduce ageism in healthcare and called for a national pharmaceutical strategy.
Finally, we outlined how CARP defended the rights of older adults first and foremost by naming age discrimination. Special vigilance has allowed us to capitalize on prime opportunities to drive home our message. When MP Robert Thibault suggested his opponent was too old for the job, CARP demanded a retraction and confronted Mr. Thibault with facts concerning the impact older voters could have on his re-election. In the end, Mr. Thibault lost the election. That’s just one of the ways we made sure that politicians were made aware of how much older voters count. We also took on mandatory retirement and campaigned for an end to discriminatory practices against older drivers.
For CARP’s full Annual Advocacy Report please click here.