Personal Best: Election promises begin

Pat Black says the many promises being made by federal candidates would be a real benefit to seniors — would be nice if they all came true

Well, we sure seemed to have quickly jumped from summer to fall. One minute we are literally dried up from the constant and searing sun to the reality of flannel pajamas and jeans and that beautiful sound of rain on the roof. Wow! Just blink and you are in another season.

Too bad the season of electioneering is still ongoing. I wonder if Harper is regretting the excessive amount of time he deemed necessary for his campaigning now that each day seems to bring another conservative blooper to the attention of voters. As a senior I am overwhelmed at all the goodies seemingly coming our way. The Liberals will increase GIS, the NDP will increase pensions and all will provide better health care among many other benefits. Too bad they can’t move the election up so we can take advantages of these promises immediately.

I guess the most compelling point in all this political posturing is the stark reality of the refugee crisis and the various responses it has elicited from the candidates and the Canadian public. While most of us are horrified and shocked by the overwhelming need of  these fellow human beings to escape the chaos of their country that  they risk their lives and the lives of their children, we empathize with their plight and want to help them, just as Canadians have done in the past and will again in the future. For most of us that isn’t a choice but a given, that is who we are as Canadians.

So it is with embarrassment, bewilderment and disbelief we hear our prime minister reiterate over and over again that he will do nothing more to alleviate this situation even though other conservative governments in other countries have recognized the severity of the disaster and are coming to the aid of refugees.

We have to ask ourselves does he really think that increasing deadly air attacks on their country will improve the refugees’ plight and that dropping bombs will protect drowning babies. This philosophy is so at odds with Canadian values that it is hard to comprehend but it does reveal a value system to be abhorred. Strong words, but they need to be spoken or in this case written.

Fall always evokes plans for improvements or new directions. Must be some gene that kicks in this time of year or a repressed memory about the excitement of the start of the school year. What ever it is, we look for new beginnings and activities. Yoga in a Chair is one activity that brings many benefits. For someone who has a disability it is a healthy choice and offers an hour of both mental and physical exercise at a low cost.

Melissa of Blue Eagle Yoga offers classes on Friday at Schubert Centre from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., at the Halina Centre on Mondays from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Cost is by donation with a minimum of $5 expected. Halina Centre also charges $2 in addition. For more information, call Melissa at 250-549-0807.

Also another good deal is the 75 per cent discount offered to low-income seniors by Greater Vernon Recreation Services for many of their aquatic and exercise programs. All you need to qualify is a standard GIS benefit letter from Service Canada saying you receive GIS. A confirmation of GIS benefits is received each year by GIS recipients and should do as proof. Or call Service Canada to make a request for a “Confirmation of Current Status” letter for GIS.

If you have any questions or comments, email me at or phone 250-542-7928.

Pat Black writes about issues of concern to seniors in the North Okanagan, appearing every other Sunday.