Langley residents 50 and older have an organization to serve as their voice, and it is turning one year old.
The Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) Chapter 48 covers Langley and Abbotsford, and has about 700 members. The group held its annual general meeting Feb. 20.
"The local Chapter provides advocacy, for local seniors' issues like affordable housing and accessible transportation," explained the group's first president Kim Richter.
CARP also offers members benefits and discounts, as well as social and community events.
People over the age of 65 represent about 15 per cent of the current local population, according to health authority data. This will grow to over 20 per cent by 2035, Richter explained.
CARP has over 350,000 members nationally and is funded by memberships and private donations. There are more than 50 CARP chapters in Canada.
There are now more people in Canada over the age of 60 than under 14.
"This is a first in Canadian history, as is the fact that, for the first time, there are now both parents and children receiving CPP benefits," she noted. In its first year the chapter has been involved in the creation of the Township Seniors Advisory Committee and advocated for new Township housing development rules better suited to aging residents.
As well the group has participated in the Langley International Festival, the Fort Langley Cranberry Festival, and the Langley Good Times Cruise-In as well as outreach through the Langley Seniors' Resource Centre.
"For its second year, the chapter hopes to organize a Media Power Panel Candidates Debate for the upcoming provincial election as well as a housing summit. We also plan to participate in local community events," she said.
For more about the group go to http: //southfrasercarp.blogspot.ca/ and www.facebook.com/ SouthFraserCarp.