Agassiz resident Bev Kennedy has been appointed to the newly-formed council of advisors.
Kennedy joins 29 other members from across the province, whose role will be to advise the B.C. Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie on matters related to seniors.
“I thought I could add a rural and small-town perspective to the advisory council,” shares Kennedy.
Kennedy is heavily involved in the heritage community, sitting for many years on various heritage boards. She has worked at all the local historic sites and has an administrative background. She has run municipal, provincial and federal elections as an elections officer and has first-hand knowledge of navigating the health-care system with aging parents. Kennedy was raised in Harrison Hot Springs and has spent the rest of her life in the Agassiz area.
Mackenzie has stated that this council will be used to provide advice and feedback on senior’s issues.
“We can help shape the priorities,” explains Kennedy. “We can liason with seniors in our communities for the current issues that they’re seeing and talking about, and then relay it back to her.”
The council will be focusing on the “big picture,” primarily in the areas of health care, personal care, housing, transportation and income support.
Advisers range from 65 to 85, live in 26 municipalities in all regions of B.C., and come from diverse cultures and communities. Recommendations for council members were made by the Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations of British Columbia on behalf of the Advocate, after reviewing more than 300 applications.
The Seniors Advocate Council of Advisors will be meeting face to face twice a year, with conference call meetings in between. They had their first meeting Friday, March 6. Kennedy says that session focused on some key issues, especially the ineffectiveness of communication of services and programs targeted to seniors. The second issue was the affordability of housing and home support, and the third was concern about transportation, especially in rural areas.
Kennedy was pleased with the first meeting and her impressions of Mackenzie are positive.
“I think she’s the right person for that job. She has the background, she has the skills and she is a valuable person to have in that role,” says Kennedy. “For what she’s done, just in a year now in that position, it’s really magnificent.”
Kennedy will be spending time attending meetings as she is invited and able. She has already been to various meetings in Agassiz and Harrison as well as in Chilliwack. For any questions, call her at 604-796-2459.