LETTER: Seniors with cancer caught in catch-22

I am a retired woman living in a small town…

To the Editor,

I am a retired woman living in a small town. Like many seniors, I work part time to supplement my pension income. In 2016, I was diagnosed with cancer.

Three of the most boring topics on the planet are cancer, seniors and taxes. Most of you have already figured out that there are no amusing stories here, no rescued animals or abandoned puppies. But seniors, cancer patients and taxpayers should keep reading, particularly if they live in a small town or know someone who does. Everyone living in small communities must travel long distances for cancer treatment.

I spent the summer near a cancer centre, staying in motels while having chemo and radiation treatments. This is expensive and worse, I could not continue to work. Medical travel expenses are deductible against taxes payable. However, you have only one calendar year to claim the expenses on your taxes. If your income goes down because you were sick and unable to work, your taxable income drops. So you cannot recover your travel costs.

That is one huge catch-22. By the time you are able to work again, you are no longer able to claim. Time has run out. These expenses cannot be brought forward and claimed in following years.

Canadians lucky enough to live in larger cities where cancer centres are located do not need to think about motels and meal expenses during treatments. About 20 million rural Canadians are not so lucky.

I strongly believe that rural Canadians should be allowed to bring forward reasonable medical travel expenses and apply them to taxes paid in the future until the costs are fully recovered.

I have prepared a petition on the House of Commons website to protest this inequity in our tax laws. Please go to the House of Commons website at https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Home/Index. Search for petition # e-1311 and consider signing it, please.

Anne Tansey Rouleau,

Penticton

Just Posted

ARTS AROUND: Join watercolour workshops in Port Alberni

Victoria artist Joanne Thomas will provide beginner and advanced classes

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Bullhead derby returns to Port Alberni with new date, location

Lions Club partners with Maritime Discovery Centre

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

Port Alberni RCMP honour fallen officers from New Brunswick

Moment of silence, prayers held for Fredericton officers killed last week

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

RCMP looking for missing Duncan teen

Dallas Macleod, 18, was last seen on Aug. 10

Evacuation order issued in Island village due to “risk of falling debris”

Fire continues to threaten town’s only access road

B.C. man designer behind Canucks’ retro jersey

Jeremie White was 20 years old when he told Canucks assistant GM Brian Burke he had a design

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Eagle tree cut down legally a 1st for B.C. city

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

Most Read