SENIORS: Kingston mulls ending seniors’ discounts

The city of Kingston is considering modification of seniors discounts in relation to income level.

The city feels times have changed enough that that demographic may not need the help they once did.

Perhaps they have a case, perhaps not…what do you think?

Seniors in the Kingston, Ontario, beware. The city is about to take away a major perk, seniors discounts for things like public transit and public services where a fee is applied.

The justification for the removal of the seniors discounts is bidirectional: this part of the city’s demographic is not a poorly off as they once were and second, the city revenues will incur expense benefits by not losing money to senior discounts. So discounts are not being taken away from all seniors, but only some. Those whose income falls below a certain level will still have access to senior discount, but above that level, no discounts are applicable any longer.

In a way, this municipal move by Kingston is a slap in the face to all seniors. It is another example of ageism, an action which sees seniors receiving second class treatment. Regardless of their years of responsible citizenship, years of paying taxes, years of being productive members of that society, these people are now labelled as not being worth of cost considerations.

The city does not pay for seniors discounts. So no money is spent here. Admittedly, the city does not accrue as much revenue when seniors do not pay the full freight. But these people paid that already and for much longer periods of time than younger citizens. They paid: taxes, license fees, payments for city services and on and on, year after year after year. Now, in the final chapters of their life, the city insults and offends them by removing any chance of saving money that this group may deservedly and possibly could obtain.

Again, complete and total disregard for the value of seniors. Their contributions to the city coffers over many, many years, totally disregarded. Their contributions to the city through their work, their service and their roles as employees totally ignored. These people and what they gave to the city is not recognized as deserving of consideration and recognition. Their old, their days are over, they’re the past.

Sadly, this group can be ignored or worse, can be mishandled in any way the city wants because seniors are not known for being energetic in fighting city hall. Seniors do not protest in large numbers. Seniors do not organize rallies to affect policy change at any level. Seniors grin and bear it. Whether in corporate service, municipal actions or provincial policies, seniors are not likely to organize a backlash, a protest movement. More than likely, they will grumble a little, maybe speak their mind publically if asked to do so, but not likely to organize anything to influence a change in the policy.

Kingston’s testing of the waters is the first step into the deeper waters of total elimination of all senior discounts in all public areas. This will result in the inevitable. Seniors will lose all financial consideration anywhere and everywhere in the marketplace. And not to worry that they will act in opposition to these modifications because they sure won’t. They won’t do a thing about it.


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