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Posted on behalf of Bernie LaRusic Pres. Region 8- NSGREA

Bernie LaRusic 21 Grandview Street, Sydney NS B1P 3N4 BernieLaRusic_392@hotmail.com 902-562-1901 August 5, 2018 Dear fellow senior advocates; Upon my retirement in 1991, I decided to utilize my skills learned as a member of the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union (NSGEU) to assist the senior community to which I proudly belong. Being aware of the potential that senior organizations could contribute to their concerns, I became involved. First, with the Nova Scotia Government Retired Employees Association (NSGREA), then the Cape Breton Council of Senior Citizens & Pensioners (CBCSCP), the Federation of Senior Citizens & Pensioners of Nova Scotia (FCSPNS) and the National Pensioners Federation (NPF). All these organizations act as our seniors’ voice to government, be they municipal, provincial or federal. Although the membership body of these organizations have diminished, their executive voice continues. Senior Clubs across the province are extremely active involving their membership, but their participation in the Councils has diminished. As an example, the Senior Advisory Council of Nova Scotia, aka the Group of IX, have continually put forward the views of seniors on such topics as health, housing and transportation, just to name the main concerns. The Senior Advisory Committee was at the forefront of challenging the Liberal Government in 2015-16 when the Liberal government brought forward their plans on Pharmacare. It was the strong verbal & written responses from the senior community across Nova Scotia that caused the government to withdraw, not cancel, their proposal. Since that time the Liberal government has endorsed the previous method of funding on three occasions, in 2016, 2017 and in 2018. I believe the announced closing of the hospitals in North Sydney and New Waterford is an issue senior organizations in those communities would not support. Having said that, the Liberal government of the day in 2015/16, listened to seniors. We need to make the Liberal government of today listen to those who advocate on behalf of the senior community. How can the volume be turned up this time? With the government sitting as of 6 Sept,2018, I would ask the senior organizations in these communities to assist in having Town Hall meetings by mid-September to determine how strong their united voice can be. Lets tell our story. I’ll would be interested in hearing from you, and so will government. Bernie LaRusic , Senior Advocate

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