October 14, 2016 - Age Friendly Thunder Bay is encouraging residents of all ages to attend the second Seniors Summit on November 15 and participate in a planning workshop to help narrow down action items for the Age Friendly Community-Wide Action Plan.

The first Seniors Summit was held in June, and hundreds of residents shared their views to help develop a Needs Assessment Report. Currently, Thunder Bay has one of the highest percentages of seniors in the province per capita and this percentage is expected to continue to rise.

"We're pleased that so many members of all ages have contributed to the needs assessment phase of our community-wide action plan process," says Donna Smith, owner of bain smith business consulting, a local firm hired to develop the Age-Friendly Thunder Bay Community-Wide Action Plan.

"We now are at the stage where we need seniors and other community decision-makers to help us narrow down the action items in domains such as housing, transportation, health care, recreation, to 3 to 5 projects for each area. These decisions will help us to build the foundation for our Community-Wide Action Plan."

The event also includes a luncheon featuring Ontario's most influential and longest serving Mayor of Mississauga, "˜Hurricane' Hazel McCallion. 

"Ageism is getting old! Every person, young or old, can live life with purpose," said McCallion. "This purpose doesn't end when you get older; society must recognize that older people can and want to continue to make a contribution, and this begins with tackling ageism."

Her comments are a result of a new report produced by Revera and the Sheridan Centre for Elder Research. The Revera Report on Ageism: Independence and Choice As We Age reveals Ageism is still the most tolerated form of social prejudice in Canada, according to the Revera Report on Ageism: Independence and Choice as We Age.

Hazel McCallion is 95 years-young and was Mayor for 36 years. She continues to work as the Special Advisor to the University of Toronto Mississauga and Chancellor of Sheridan College.  A former professional women's hockey player, she is known to be out-spoken and gutsy.

She believes in community development and one of her famous quotes could be the motto for the Seniors Summit: "I am a joiner and always have been. I can tell you it works."  Her latest book, Hurricane Hazel: A Life with Purpose shares her secrets to a successful and satisfying life.

Established in 2009, Age-Friendly Thunder Bay has been in the process of developing a community-wide action plan over the past year to help address the needs and interests of people 60 years of age and older. In 2011, Thunder Bay was accepted as a member of the World Health Organization's Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities. Additionally, a five-year City Services Action Plan was created in 2015 to address municipal services, programs and facilities in order to meet the needs of and provide varied opportunities for older adults.

The Seniors Summit runs from 9 am to 3 pm at the Victoria Inn. Tickets are $30, and can be purchased online, at all Thunder Bay Public Library locations, St. Joseph's Care Group Hospital Finance Offices or the LSPC in Victoriaville Mall.
Limited low income options are available by calling the LSPC at 624-1720. Citizens are encouraged to car-pool and consider bringing neighbours who may find it difficult to get out of their homes. 

An electronic version of the Needs Assessment Report can be made available to members of the media upon request. To purchase tickets online, and for more information, visit: agefriendlythunderbay.ca

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Contact: Nancy Angus, bain smith consulting, 623-6132 or nancy@bainsmithconsulting.ca