On August 23rd - Williams Lake City Council received a letter from Audrey MacLise, Chair of the WL and Area Seniors Advisory Council regarding a UBCM Resolution on the elimination of MSP premiums for all seniors - see the report from WL Mayor Kerry Cook, from the Sept 13th WL Council meeting, on this item here. As well, read the letter from Audrey MacLise to the Cariboo Regional District Board here, a letter from Peter Coates of the provincial Old Age Pensioners' Organization or OAPO here and a letter from the Municipal Pension Retirees Association here - all on the topic of eliminating MSP Premiums for seniors'
Unfortunately (see video above to judge for yourself) - WL Council was unable to agree on a common position regarding the UBCM Resolution on eliminating MSP Premiums for seniors', at their Tuesday night meeting. Mayor Cook and Councillors Laurie Walters and Surinderpal Rathor agreed to back the UBCM Resolution and the recommendation of Mayor Cook. Councillors Tom Barr, Geoff Bourdon and Sue Zacharias were not prepared to support either the UBCM Resolution and the recommendation of Mayor Cook. See the story from The Rush here
Yesterday - WL Mayoralty Candidate Walt Cobb accused current WL Mayor Kerry Cook of "playing politics" on the issue of not charging MSP Premiums to seniors, of which Mr. Cobb personally supports the UBCM Resolution. In addition, Audrey MacLise weighed in on the issue, expressing disappointment that the City of Williams Lake can not move forward as a "aged-friendly community". See the Rush story here. I wonder if Mayor Kerry Cook will respond to the accusation of Mr. Cobb. Also - will current WL Mayoralty candidate Scott Nelson weigh in on this issue...?
According to the 2011 UBCM Resolution Book - the following communities are bringing forward Resolutions on this subject:
a) City of North Vancouver
b) District of 100 Mile House
c) City of Vancouver
d) City of Kimberly
From City of North Vancouver:
WHEREAS the Premier of British Columbia has announced a policy of putting families first and
seniors are crucial members of our families;
AND WHEREAS seniors in BC are the only ones in Canada who pay provincial medical insurance
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM call upon the Province of British Columbia to eliminate
medical insurance premiums for seniors in BC and to bear any associated costs.
From the City of Vancouver:
• British Columbia is the only province in Canada where seniors must pay Medical Services
Plan (MSP) premiums;
• Many seniors in British Columbia are struggling to pay their bills for daily needs; and
• Many retirees of the Municipal Pension Plan are former employees of local and regional
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM call on the Province of British Columbia to eliminate
the MSP premiums for medical insurance in the province of British Columbia to conform with the
situation for seniors in all other provinces;
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that UBCM call on the Province of British Columbia that, upon
the elimination of MSP premiums, they contribute the present percentage of employers’ contributions
previously used for MSP premiums to assist in the payment of group health benefits
From the City of Kimberly:
WHEREAS all seniors living in British Columbia must pay Medical Service Plan (MSP) premiums
and with the elimination of MSP premiums, BC seniors would have more money for healthy living;
AND WHEREAS many retirees of the Municipal Pension Plan are former employees of local and
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM support the elimination of MSP premiums for medical
insurance in the Province of BC for all seniors;
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that UBCM support the retirees of the Municipal Pension Plan by agreeing to the elimination of MSP premiums for all British Columbia seniors (65 years and older).
From the District of 100 Mile House:
WHEREAS all BC seniors must pay Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums, and if MSP premiums
were eliminated BC seniors would have more money for healthy living:
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM request the Province of BC to eliminate Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums for all BC seniors.
For the Record:
I support the elimination of MSP Premiums for seniors', provided it is a income-based test (for example - those who makes $60,000 or less, in a year, should not have to pay MSP Premiums). I don't think high income seniors' should receive equal benefits as low income seniors', when it comes to the elimination of MSP Premiums