Victoria seniors stage protest at vacant school field, seeking park space for elders

Dozens of Victoria, B.C., seniors have staged a rally at a former school field to demand more elder-friendly park space, contrasting their situation with facilities available to youth that include a new skateboard park nearby.

About 100 seniors, many using walkers and motorized scooters and carrying placards, took part in the protest near the land owned by the Greater Victoria School District, and say they are being shut out of green space near their homes.

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The vacant field was on the grounds of a former high school, and protester Terry Dance-Bennink says transforming it into a senior-friendly area would offer more than 1,000 older people in the neighbourhood a place to exercise, socialize and appreciate nature.

Dance-Bennink says the seniors have approached the school district about turning the area into a temporary seniors park, but have not heard back.

The Greater Victoria School District was not immediately available for comment.

Last week, B.C. seniors advocate Isobel Mackenzie released a report saying the province ranks last in Canada in providing key financial supports to seniors.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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