The city of Ottawa should consider following the lead of Kingston and start giving out discounts based on income and wealth rather than age. There are many seniors on fixed incomes who deserve a break, particularly for things like community centres and fitness facilities. But a significant number of them are wealthier than many other people in the community.
Why is it on Wednesdays, for example, all seniors ride the bus for free, even those who can afford to pay, while there are single parents with children who have to pay full fare?
Private businesses offer discounts to generate more traffic from a particular group of consumers, but the city should be focused on fairness rather than marketing considerations. Seniors have contributed a lot to society and they deserve gratitude for their hard work but the biggest factor in public sector discounts is probably the fact that they represent a significant voting bloc.
Ultimately, any discounts should go to the people who need the most help, not those who have simply reached a specific age and are most likely to return the favour by giving politicians their votes.