In 2015 I took part with partners and the Institute for Research and Public Policy in producing a report drawing on a comprehensive review of the latest research on issues affecting older Canadians, a consultation exercise that included a series of interviews with experts and stakeholders, as well as a round table discussion.
The consultation process was led by the Task Force on Aging, whose members are Graham Fox, IRPP President; Scott Haldane, President and Chief Executive Officer of YMCA; the Hon. Anne McLellan, former deputy prime minister, now senior adviser at Bennett Jones LLP; Samir Sinha, Director of Geriatrics at Mount Sinai and the University Health Network Hospitals in Toronto; and Mark Taylor, Deputy Mayor of the City of Ottawa and policy sponsor for Ottawa’s Older Adult Plan.
According to the task force, only the federal government can compel all the players to adopt a truly integrated and comprehensive approach and ensure that seniors across Canada receive comparable services, regardless of where they live. The task force members also insist that the strategy must go beyond health care and include “age-friendly communities, social and economic policy, and the social determinants of health.” Moreover, the strategy must avoid turning into an intergovernmental tug-of-war and instead put the individual at the centre.