A word from FGM – November 2022

Over the next 10 years, about a million Quebecers will reach retirement age, as La Presse noted last month (article in French). The aging of our population, which has been on our demographic horizon for a long time, is now a reality. And it increasingly takes the shape of baby boomers joining the seniors’ cohort.

Although that generation is one of the most well off in our history, which is testimony to the great achievements of those who built modern Quebec, this relative wealth hides large inequalities among our seniors. Not everyone has access to a pension plan that permits them to just kick back and enjoy their golden years.

In fact, nearly 40% of Quebec seniors receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement, which the federal government distributes to low-income retirees. In Quebec, on average, seniors have an income of barely $40,000 per year. Given that the cost of living is constantly going up, and that a portion of what seniors receive is fixed income, that amount is not exactly a fortune.

Seniors in a situation of vulnerability

Many seniors therefore are still living in poverty, which is too often a one-way ticket to isolation and social exclusion. Take the case of immigrant seniors, who often have not sufficiently contributed to public pension schemes to be eligible to full pension benefits. They also don’t always have as strong a support network as their Canadian-born peers.

The housing crisis has also hit seniors hard, including the fallout from the explosion in property values and forced closures of seniors’ residences. Homelessness among seniors (article in French) is also a growing problem.

As well, it’s estimated that in Quebec in 2019, nearly 100,000 seniors had been the victims of at least one form of exploitation or abuse. As our latest Vital Signs report showed, a majority of them are women, Health issues, disabilities or other impairments can also get in the way of seniors being able to live the kind of life of dignity they aspire to.

And yet, they have so much to offer us, if only we would take the trouble to lend them our support and make a place for them in society. True, much of seniors’ contribution to our society is now in the past, but they also have a role to play in our present and future. We would do well to keep that in mind, and work to build new bridges between generations.

Karel Mayrand
President and CEO
Foundation of Greater Montréal

FGM’s Stories of the Month

November 2022

The Fonds Fondation REGAIN Santé

While it closed for good in December of 2020, the REGAIN clinic nonetheless wanted to pursue its community mission by transforming itself into a philanthropic organization.

Read on

The Centre africain de développement et d’entraide

The Centre aims to guide and support newcomers to the Pointe-Saint-Charles neighbourhood. It focuses on the seniors among them, but also young people and the population in general.

Read on

Invitation to the Vital Signs launch event

FGM and Centraide are proud to invite you to the launch of the latest Vital Signs of Greater Montreal report about housing, on November 22, 2022 from 9am onwards.