Home Canada Alberta pro golfer – now on disability – on high cost of living: ‘a real hardship’

Alberta pro golfer – now on disability – on high cost of living: ‘a real hardship’

by News Desk
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for six weeks as part of “Out of Pocket” SeriesGlobal News examines how inflation is affecting Canadians.

Kathy Burton has worked in the golf industry for 37 years. After playing professionally, she coached in Manitoba and Alberta.

At 61, she was unemployed and never thought she would become disabled.

“It was really hard for me to go without a job for three years,” Burton said. “I had to sell my car.”

After spending five years on dialysis, Burton underwent a kidney transplant in 2020. However, her recovery did not go according to her plan. She suffered from several infections and was prescribed various medications.

Kathy Burton, 61, in the hospital for kidney dialysis.


On New Year’s Eve, she ended up in the Calgary hospital emergency room. She had lost sight in her right eye. Just two months after her, she lost the sight in her left eye.

“It’s been quite a change for me to get used to not having much vision.”

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That’s not the only adjustment Burton has had to make. She is also learning to live on a fixed income.

“Due to my federal disability, CPP failure — I receive $1,180 a month and my mortgage payment is $1,200. “

Golf pro Kathy Burton.


Last year, Burton was a recipient of the PGA Canada Foundation’s charitable endowment, which covered most of his household expenses.

“It was very helpful.

“I was immunocompromised and very close to having a transplant, and without it I could not see a way forward.”

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Burton is ineligible AISH (Severely Disabled Income Security) she doesn’t meet the standards Affordable Payments Recently Announced by Alberta.

She had to use a line of credit to cover basic expenses.

cost saving measures

Burton is also facing as a result of the triple challenge of the pandemic, unemployment and health issues. inflation This is the highest level ever.

With no option to increase the amount coming in, I was forced to reduce the amount going out. For Burton, that means careful budgeting, using flyers and tracking sales, and making sacrifices when it comes to grocery shopping.

“I haven’t eaten a salad in probably two years,” she told Global News.

food prices were rising According to Statistics Canada, there will be an 11% increase in December 2022 compared to a year ago. Overall, food prices in 2022 are up 9.8% year-on-year. This is his fastest pace since 1981.

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Out of Pocket: How Canadians Feel the Effects of Inflation

Burton is trying to get creative—buying long-lasting, low-cost foods like frozen vegetables and starches.

“For example, I make Shepherd’s Pie, but I add other ingredients to make it more filling. I’m just saying.”

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She also finds ways to cut other household expenses.

“I keep the temperature around my house around 15 degrees Celsius.

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“We also have battery-powered sensor lights on the stairs, so they come on when we go up and down at night. We also have them under the counter.”

Mr. Burton boils water with a kettle, wash dishes in the sink, and takes less time to take a shower.

Kathy Burton, pictured with her dog Luis, lives in Calgary on a fixed income. January 17, 2023.

global news

But there are some things that are beyond her control.

“I think taxes will go up,” Burton said. “My property values ​​have gone up by $113,000 in two years.

“How do you make sense of it all? My home insurance premium has gone up. I feel overwhelmed to say things like that, but I’m doing my best.”

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An Ipsos poll of 1,004 adult Canadians, conducted exclusively for Global News between December 14 and December 16, 2022, found that 36% of respondents said they had an essential activity such as entertainment or travel. We found that 27% had reduced their spending. Necessities such as food and clothing to pay for other basic needs.

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community support

The demand for social programs that help people in Alberta has increased significantly.

Murtaza Jamali said, “We talk about families in crisis. “They are barely making ends meet.

“Well, this is the time to see these people pushed to their limits.”

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Based in West Rock, Jamalie Family and community support services Alberta Association.

“We’ve seen a huge influx of people coming through our doors for a variety of reasons,” he said. and we know that donations are declining in certain programs that are funded by donations, simply because they donate less.”

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For more than 50 years, FCSS has provided prevention programs in Alberta, including homelessness prevention, poverty reduction and aging populations.

In an informal survey, 90% of FCSS offices said demand for programming by people on a fixed income increased in their communities as a result of inflation.

According to staff, programs that have seen the most intake increases include assistance with applying for Alberta Supports or other income assistance, subsidized transit and subsidized recreation programs, referrals to food banks, and affordable Includes information and introductions to low-income housing options, free children’s activities, and activities for seniors. Outreach, counseling, or mental health assistance.

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Many FCSS workers say they see more crises and emergencies than their official mandate, prevention.

“Prevention as a service needs to be protected reliably because when there is tremendous need for intervening services — when homeless shelters are overrun, when food banks don’t have enough food or not enough money, This is because it plays an important role, as a result of lack of prevention or lack of ability to provide these types of services in the long term,” said Jamalie.

And those using bonds are even more vulnerable.

“Is the check you received enough to pay for rent, transportation, clothing, and food?”

These are the kinds of questions Burton wants policymakers to ask themselves.

“I think both federal and state governments really need to look. Who are we helping? Are you just saying, “This should cover a lot of people”?

“I don’t think they really understand what’s going on. It’s very expensive to run a house.

“They need to come and sit in my shoes and tell me how to pay the bill.”

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