The Provincial Advisory Council on Aging and Seniors met virtually this week to discuss several key and emerging issues facing diverse populations of seniors including mental health; social isolation and the digital divide; financial literacy across the lifespan; poverty and low-income; and social determinants of health.

During the course of the three-day meeting, the Honourable John G. Abbott, Minister of Children, Seniors and Social Development, was pleased to join the Provincial Advisory Council on Aging and Seniors to welcome Pamela Anstey of St. John’s in the role of Chair and Megan Ford of St. John’s, and Joshua Carey of Corner Brook as new members. All of these appointees represent a diverse cross section of society and are familiar with seniors’ issues.

Linda Oldford of Gander will continue in the role of past chair for the next year and Minister Abbott recognized her leadership and role in the transition to the new Chair. Noreen Careen of Labrador City, Judy Pardy of Cartwright, and Helen Handrigan of St. John’s have been reappointed.

Biographies of all these appointees are provided in the backgrounder below.

Minister Abbott heard the advice of the Provincial Advisory Council on Aging and Seniors on a number of matters including promotion of age-friendly communities, strengthening links between generations, and some of the health related services also identified in the recommendations of the Health Accord.

The meeting also included presentations from and discussion with the Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development’s Divisions of Seniors and Aging, and Poverty Reduction and Community Sector; the Department of Health and Community Services in relation to seniors mental health and physical activity resources; NL Health Accord; the Gathering Place, and the Multicultural Women’s Organization of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Provincial Advisory Council on Aging and Seniors, which was established in March 2005, has a mandate to help ensure that seniors’ perspectives are reflected in policy development and planning for future service delivery, as well as to provide advice to the Minister Responsible. To learn more about the council, please visit here.


“I was pleased to meet with the Provincial Advisory Council on Aging and Seniors to discuss matters impacting seniors, such as living through the COVID pandemic and the Health Accord’s recent recommendations. Collectively with the Council, we will continue to work together to address the needs of seniors so they can enjoy good health, live safely, and stay active in their communities.”

Honourable John G. Abbott

Minister of Children, Seniors and Social Development

“Given the challenges of COVID experienced by seniors and others, as well as the gaps and opportunities highlighted by Health Accord, the Provincial Advisory Council on Aging and Seniors is committed to providing the Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development and the Minister Responsible with sound advice. Seniors are among the most vulnerable and deserve to age with dignity and choice.”

Pamela Anstey

Chair, Provincial Advisory Council on Aging and Seniors

– 30 –

Learn more

Provincial Advisory Council on Aging and Seniors

Follow us on Twitter @GovNL and @CSSD_GovNL

Like us on Facebook

Media contacts

Khadija Rehma

Children, Seniors and Social Development

709-729-3768, 730-2977

Pam Anstey

Provincial Advisory Council on Aging and Seniors



Biographies of Appointees to the Provincial Advisory Council on Aging and Seniors

Pamela Anstey has worked in community and non-profit development for more than 20 years. Holding a Master of Social Work from Dalhousie, she has an extensive background in disability policy, poverty, and food insecurity, along with a knowledge of social enterprise and small business. Ms. Anstey currently works as a case manager with the Community Food Helpline, as a counsellor with the Athena Health Centre, and as Executive Director of the St John’s Farmers’ Market. She also sits on the Board of the Centre for Health Information, the Board of the NL Federation of Cooperatives, and as an active member of the Provincial Food Insecurity Working Group.

Noreen Careen holds an undergraduate degree in women’s studies and was Executive Director of the Labrador West Status of Women’s Council for more than 20 years. She served in a variety of roles with the Hope Haven’s Women’s Shelter for over 20 years and was involved with many other initiatives, from family resource centres to the Labrador West Housing and Homelessness Coalition and the Newfoundland and Labrador Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse through SeniorsNL.

Joshua Carey holds a Bachelor of Community Studies from the University of Cape Breton, a Diploma in Adult Education from St. Francis Xavier University and a Diploma in Community Studies and Project Management from Bay St. George Community College. As a career public servant, his work focused on economic, industrial and community development. He has also been heavily involved in the community having served on municipal councils and as a member and chair of many provincial, regional, and community boards and committees.

Meghan Ford has a background in human rights and social work. She has been providing clinical oversight to adult care in both the private and non-profit sectors for the past 10 years. She is a feminist and a lifelong volunteer in the Girl Guide movement, as well as being a member of the Board of Directors for Old School, a non-profit organization aimed to bridge the generational gap between youth and seniors through the arts.

Helen Handrigan received a Masters in Social Work degree in 1978 and is now a retired social worker, having 35 years of practice in acute care, family court and tenant relations. Her last position was Senior Housing Officer with the City of St. John’s. Since 2013, she has served on the Board of Directors with SeniorsNL.

Linda Oldford spent 35 years in a career with the Federal Government (Service Canada). During that time, she was a union activist and held many elected positions, including three terms as the Public Service Alliance of Canada’s Director for Women NL. She is First Vice-President of the Newfoundland and Labrador 50+ Federation and chairs the 50+ Club in Burnside. Ms. Oldford serves on several advisory boards, which include the Town of Gander Seniors Board, the Central Wellness Board, the Aging Research Centre NL and Safer Meds NL, and is one of two community members of Health Accord NL. She serves as a member of the Burnside Community Association, the Anglican Church Women and St Alban’s Vestry. Ms. Oldford has a keen interest and involvement in Indigenous culture and is a member of First Light Newfoundland and Labrador. She is also a member of Time in the Hall Square Dancers on the Eastport Peninsula.

Judy Pardy has a lengthy history in socioeconomic development with communities in Labrador. She was previously Executive Director with the Southeastern Aurora Development Corporation and has served in many capacities including archaeology and recreation roles. She is currently involved with the Sandwich Bay 50+ Club and as a peer volunteer with SeniorsNL.

2022 02 25 9:40 am