SLC(O) Biennial Meeting – 2022

March 3, 2022

The Senior Liberals’ Commission – Ontario (SLC(O)) held its biennial Meeting (BGM) on Saturday, February 5, 2022 as part of the Liberal Party of Canada (Ontario) Convention. It was the first time for a virtual BGM, and more than 190 people joined the Zoom videoconference.

Jean Yip (MP Scarborough- Agincourt) chaired the meeting. Jean has been a strong voice in Ottawa for Seniors since she was first elected, and a good friend to the SLC(O).

Because of the pandemic, it had been almost three years between Biennial SLCO meetings. In the interim, the Board and its committees have been very active. Chair Sheila Bryan reported on activities since the last general meeting.

Highlights of the Chair’s Report:

The Policy Committee developed several proposals for consideration in the Liberal Party of Canada’s Policy Development Process that culminated in the 2021 Liberal National Convention in April 2021.

Of the 26 resolutions adopted at the Convention, five were sponsored by the Senior Liberals’ Commission and two of those – Long Term Care and Affordable Rental Housing for Vulnerable Seniors – had originated in the SLC(O).

Looking forward, the Chair reported that Aging in Place has been, and remains, a focus of the Board and the Policy Committee and that work will continue.

Another major achievement is Ontario’s progress in increasing the number of Senior Representatives on EDA Executives. SLC(O) hopes to continue to grow those volunteer EDA positions that are so critical for Senior Liberal engagement with both their EDAs and with the Commission.

Sheila Bryan reported on SLC(O) outreach to the Ontario Liberal Party to offer advice and counsel on how to establish a provincial equivalent of the Senior Liberals’ Commission.

She also encouraged those not already committed to get involved in the June 2022 Ontario Provincial Election. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate the value that seniors can bring to campaigns and policy development.

Senior Liberals’ Commission Co-Chair (English):

Hilary Williamson congratulated the SLC(O) for its strong achievements in policy development and election volunteer work and highlighted the many contributions of Senior Liberals to the Liberal Party of Canada. She spoke about how being part of SLC has meant connecting with Liberals across the country to encourage volunteer involvement and to forge new friendships.

She announced the results of the elections to the Board of the Senior Liberals’ Commission – Ontario. All candidates won by acclamation.

Chair, Sheila Bryan
Policy Chair Kamal Jain
Director, Golden Horseshoe Region Norma Gibson-MacDonald
Director, Toronto Region David Wallace

Introducing the Guest Speaker – Hon. Kamal Khera, MP Mississauga- Streetsville and Minister of Seniors

Policy Chair Kamal Jain introduced the guest speaker for the day, the Hon. Kamal Khera. He thanked her for her commitment during the Pandemic, including volunteering at Long Term Care Homes and administering vaccines in local clinics. He also congratulated her on being the youngest member of the current cabinet.

MP Khera spoke about how her frontline experience as a nurse continues to guide her vision in her new mandate, and thanked all Senior Liberals for their volunteer work during the 2021 Federal Election.

Addressing the Zoom meeting, MP Khera identified the priorities outlined in her Mandate Letter from the Prime Minister – Financial Security for Seniors, Aging Well at Home, and moving forward with National Standards for Long Term Care. She highlighted that she has been mandated to work with the Minister of Health, and Minister of Families, Children and Social Development on these priorities.

MP Khera responded to questions from the virtual audience on a range of topics including: Long-term Care, Pension Security, Access to Health Records, and the convoy situation in Ottawa.

The Chair thanked MP Khera for her time and commitment and said that SLC(O) looks forward to helping her reach her goals. Then, on behalf of the audience Sheila wished her a belated Happy Birthday.

The Chair ended by providing the audience with the SLC contact email address to keep the conversation going – and some used it immediately after the Zoom session ended.

Though all look forward to being able to meet in person once more, it was agreed that this virtual session was an informative and productive one.