For immediate publication
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission today launched a public awareness campaign to counteract myths and stereotypes about older persons, in partnership with Shoppers Drug Mart and CARP, Canada’s Association for the Fifty-Plus.
The campaign features a poster of an older person with a Best Before sticker on the forehead and a tagline, "Nobody has a shelf life. The only thing that’s out of date is the idea that older people don’t deserve the same respect and opportunities as everyone else. Let’s stop age discrimination. It’s old news."
"Given Ontario's growing population of older persons, we need to look at attitudes towards aging and how such attitudes place older persons at an increased risk for discriminatory treatment. The campaign serves as a reminder that negative attitudes about aging should not stand in the way of equal opportunity and participation for older Ontarians. I am pleased that Shoppers Drug Mart and CARP are involved as our partners in helping us to get this important message out to the public," stated Chief Commissioner Keith Norton.
From July 26 to August 9, 2003, Shoppers Drug Mart stores throughout Ontario and across the country will be displaying the posters. As well, throughout this two-week period, which includes 'Seniors Day' on July 31, 2003, Shoppers Drug Mart will be distributing a pamphlet on age discrimination to develop a better understanding by the public of ageism and its effects, and to encourage the elimination of discriminatory practices against older members of our society.
Arthur Konviser, Senior Vice-President of Corporate Affairs at Shoppers Drug Mart stated that, "Shoppers is proud to be a partner in a campaign that promotes awareness of human rights issues that affect the daily lives of our older customers. It is important that we all work together towards counteracting myths and stereotypes about older members in our society. In fact, it is a key step towards ensuring that older persons are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve."
"The myths of aging are already creating serious consequences of discrimination throughout society. And, with an aging population of unprecedented proportions, it is all the more crucial that we replace these myths with realities of healthy and active living for all Canadians, whether in the workplace, our health care system or every sector in between," added Judy Cutler, Director of Public Relations and Communications at CARP, Canada’s Association for the Fifty-Plus.
Ageism and age discrimination against older persons have been the focus of a four-year project by the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Initiated in 1999, the International Year of the Older Person, the first step involved the development of a Discussion Paper, followed by province-wide consultations in the Fall of 2000. In June 2001, the Commission issued a Consultation Report entitled Time for Action: Advancing Human Rights for Older Ontarians. The Report outlined concerns raised during the consultations and contained a number of recommendations for government and community action. Last June, the Commission released its Policy on Discrimination against Older Persons because of Age. The Policy sets out the Commission’s position on discrimination against older persons as it relates to the provisions of the Code.
For more information on ageism and age discrimination, please contact the Ontario Human Rights Commission at 1-800-387-9080 (1-800-308-5561 TTY) or CARP, Canada’s Association for the Fifty-Plus at 1-800-363-9736.
Director of Communications
Canada’s Association for the Fifty-Plus (CARP)
416-363-8748, Ext. 241
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Sr. Communications Officer
Communications and Issues Management