SURREY, BC. (August 27, 2021) – Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) is launching an Elders assistance pilot program aimed at helping low-income Elders buy important health related necessities.
The pilot program, first announced by Acting President Lissa Smith at the 2021 Métis Nation Governing Assembly, will run until the funds are exhausted. Eligibility program will be based on Elders that currently access Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). The funds can be used by Elders for the purchase of items including hearing aids, dentures, walkers, glasses, and more. The assistance will total up to $2,500 for individuals and up to $4,000 for couples.
“Our communities have told us loud and clear that we need more supports available for our Elders and seniors,” says Raynie Gervais, MNBC Minister of Elders. “Being able to provide funding for important life necessities will help us create more stable and healthy communities.”
The program is is now available for applications, and applicants are required to be current citizens of MNBC or be currently in the application process. Information on how to register was mailed to all eligible Citizens 65+ before the program started, to offer the opportunity for those without internet access to receive this critical program information. Please note, there are limited funds and the program may have waitlist applicants.
“As a people we have always respected and cherished our Elders as our knowledge keepers, our link to our ancestors, our past and our future. Yet many have been unable to eat properly without proper teeth, have not been able to hear their grandchildren with no hearing aid, have not been able to read messages from family due to no glasses, had to choose between healthy food and prescriptions,” says Betty An McDonnell, President of the Nicola Valley & District Métis Association. “This has weighed heavily on the shoulders of MNBC and the leaders of all BC communities. As a President that has advocated that we remedy this situation, I am elated beyond words to know that there will be a small beginning to help many. I hold my hands up in gratitude today.”