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Pension poor seniors march for more money in Vernon

Seniors Tin Cup movement protests the low pensions of seniors across the province

A sizeable swarm of seniors gathered near the Schubert Centre on Thursday, March 21 to protest low pensions in Vernon and across the country.

Chants of “one, two, three, four, I am sick and tired of being poor,” echoed through the streets as the nearly 100 individuals marched downtown to express themselves.

“I am just fed up with hearing about poverty in the city,” said Carole Fawcett, organizer of the march. “One woman lived in her car for 14 months, she was 73-years-old. Another one was rent evicted. It was just tiring hearing about all of this.”

Fawcett was “amazed” with the amount of individuals who turned out in support, as the march was part of a provincewide Seniors Tin Cup movement. Fawcett previously organized a smaller gathering, in December of 2023.

“I’m so touched to see,” she said. “Now I just hope the government will do the right thing and raise pensions.”

According to, 28 per cent of Canada’s senior women are living in poverty. If a senior is relying on the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP), Guaranteed Income Supplement and Old Age Security (OAS), the average amount provided from all three is from $18-20,000, which is lower than the Canadian poverty threshold of $25,552.

“My wife gets a pension and I get OAS and CPP, and we will get money for our house,” said Mel Piper, one such individual at the protest. “But once the money from the house is gone, I am afraid we would be SOL as it wouldn’t be enough to support us.”

The Tin Cup movement was started by Sharon Elliot of Vancouver, who witnessed a woman taking bottles and cans out of a garbage can in a nearby park. The woman, who was clean and neatly dressed, told Elliot that she was doing this as she didn’t have enough money to live. Elliot realized that soon seniors would be standing on corners, holding tin cups in order to survive each month.

More information can be found at

READ MORE: Help Vernon seniors Tin Cup to bring change

READ MORE: Okanagan seniors feeling the pocketbook pinch

Bowen Assman

About the Author: Bowen Assman

I joined The Morning Star team in January 2023 as a reporter. Before that, I spent 10 months covering sports in Kelowna.
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