The Honourable Ralph Sultan, Minister of State for Seniors paid a visit to Barriere on April 4, with a number of stops on his itinerary.
First he spent some time at Municipal Hall, and then he took a quick tour of the North Thompson Agriplex, where he says he was “very much impressed with what the members of the community have accomplished here”.
Next up the Minister stopped in at the Yellowhead Pioneer Residence, where he met up with Mayor Bill Humphreys, Minister of Environment Terry Lake and Lake’s wife Lisa, then all were given a tour of the assisted living side of the facility.
Facility administrator Pam Simpson guided the tour and answered questions from the guests, who were all duly impressed with the apartments and services provided the residents.
While there the Ministers presented the Mayor with an Age Friendly grant cheque for $15,400, for the District of Barriere
“We set aside every year about $500,000 for the Age Friendly grants program,” said Sultan, “This year we had about 65 applications, with 26 winners, and Barriere being one of them.”
“My job as minister in care of seniors is to be the senior’s voice at the cabinet table. We know that seniors are wanting to live at home as much as possible, and if we work to help them with the simple things at home we can help them to do that.”
“Once you can do that, the payoffs are huge if they can stay at home. Once you put people into care homes they don’t seem to do as well. We try to plan with the seniors, not for them.”
The minister also noted that both Provincial and Federal governments “Have to do some hard nosed thinking about how we finance those senior years for our residents.”
Sultan commented that Barriere is the sort of community that is attractive to seniors looking to relocate.
“Not everyone can pay a million dollars for a home,” said Sultan, “The senior’s industry is an important one, and Barriere is well positioned to take advantage of that.”