eople don’t have a best-before date.
That’s the message the Ontario Human Rights Commission is trying to get out with a public awareness campaign that features a dramatic poster of an older man with a best-before sticker on his forehead.
The poster reads, “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 The only thing that’s out of date is the idea that older people don’t deserve the same respect and opportunities as everyone else.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.”
OHRC partnered with the Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) and Shoppers Drug Mart for the campaign.
“Given Ontario’s growing population of older persons, we need to look at attitudes towards aging and how such attitudes place older persons at increased risk for discriminatory treatment,” said OHRC chief commissioner Keith Norton. “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.”
Judy Cutler, director of public relations and communications at CARP, a national association for those age 50 and over, said the myths of aging are 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,” said Cutler.
Ageism and age discrimination against older persons have been the focus of a four-year project by the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Started in 1999, the International Year of the Older Person, the first step involved the development of a discussion paper followed by province-wide consultation 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 Ontario Human Rights Code.
Shoppers Drug Mart is displaying the posters from July 26 to August 9 at stores across the country. It is also distributing a pamphlet on age discrimination.