Laura Tamblyn Watts is the CEO of CanAge, Canada’s national seniors’ advocacy organization. Her work focuses on aging, inclusion, consumer rights and social justice. She has previously served as Chief Public Policy Officer at the Canadian Association of Retired Persons (2018- 2019) and in a number of positions at the Canadian Centre for Elder Law including as their long-time National Director (2004-2018). She currently teaches a course in Law and Aging at the University of Toronto (2012-current). Ms. Tamblyn Watts is a Community Representative on the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments Board, and serves on the Audit and Finance Committee. She has previously served on the Governance and Human Resources Committee. Prior to joining OBSI’s Board, she Chaired OBSI’s Consumer and Investor Advisory Committee for 8 years.
She is a past Chair of the Canadian Bar Association’s National Elder Law section, where she sits as a current Executive member. She is a member of the Investment Funds Institute of Canada’s (IFIC) committee on Seniors and Vulnerable Investors (IFIC) and serves as a Canadian representative on the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASSA) committee on Vulnerable Investors. Laura is a continuing member of the Ontario Securities Commission’s Taskforce on Seniors. She is a Board member Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario, and is also a Board member of PACE Independent Living, a housing and services non-profit which provides attendant care to persons with physical differences.
She helped to co-found Canada’s second low income seniors’ legal services centre, SeniorsFirst BC, located in Vancouver, and served as its first Legal Director. She received her undergraduate honours degree in Political Science from Queen’s University and her law degree with honours from the University of Victoria. She was called to the Bar in 1999. She received her certificate in bilingualism in 1991. She was awarded the Distinguished International Fellow Award from Stetson University Centre for Excellence in Elder Law and is a Canadian representative to the International Guardianship Network, and Fellow of the World Congress on Adult Guardianship.
Areas of Expertise (7)
Financial Literacy for Vulnerable Populations
Plain Language Tool Development
Advocacy and Government Relations
Law and Aging
University of Toronto: S.J.D. / Ph.D., Law 2019
University of Victoria: L.L.B., Law 1998
Queen's University: B.A., International Politics and Strategic Studies 1995
Université Canadienne en France: Certificate of Bilingualism 1991
- Distinguished International Fellow - Stetson University, Center of Excellence in Elder Law
- Board Member and Affiliated Faculty - McMaster University, Gilbrea Centre on Aging
- AGE-WELL National Centre of Excellence (NCE) on Aging and Technology
- Lead – Legal Issues - National Prevalence Study on Elder Abuse and Neglect, Canada, Prof. Lynn McDonald - 2015
- Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI) – current Board Member
- Family Councils Ontario –Past Board Chair
- National Initiative for Care of the Elderly (NICE network) – current Board member, Committee Chair, Law and Aging Chair
- PACE Independent Living Society –Secretary and Board Member
- Canadian Bar Association National Elder Law Section – current National Executive Committee member at large and Past-Chair
- Ontario Bar Association Elder Law Section – current and Founding member
Media Appearances (7)
Wait times for knee, hip replacements, cataract surgery worse in Manitoba for 4th consecutive year: report
Laura Tamblyn Watts, chief public policy officer for the Canadian Association of Retired Persons, said the results are shocking but not surprising.
"We've been very worried at the downward trend in Manitoba and the results speak for themselves," she said.
"But what it doesn't speak to is the pain and suffering that many people, especially older adults, are having to endure on a daily basis because of these wait times."
Advocacy groups say 2019 federal budget fails to safeguard employer pensions
Vancouver Courier online
"We were very pleased that a number of our key asks from our national platform were picked up," says Laura Tamblyn Watts, public policy chief for CARP, which lobbies on behalf of seniors.
"We are really hoping, however, for a pension insurance plan that insures 100 per cent of pension liabilities. And this should be fully funded by the plan sponsors."
Older adults should like federal budget: CARP
Blackburn News online
Laura Tamblyn Watts, CARP’s chief public policy officer, said less clawback of the Guaranteed Income Supplement is also key for older adults who have very low income and must work to make ends meet. Tamblyn Watts said the budget is a step in the right direction.
“This government has not done very much for older adults in the last three years but seems to be trying to make up for it in this budget,” said Tamblyn Watts.
Morneau set to table high-stakes election year budget as SNC-Lavalin scandal rages on
Laura Tamblyn Watts, national director of law, policy and research for CARP, an advocacy organization for older Canadians, said she has high hopes the Liberals will deliver in this budget. She said that after raising the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) soon after the 2015 election, the Liberals went "silent" on seniors' issues.
'Driver knew he was aggressive': Senior beaten by another passenger while taking transit for elderly, disabled
Laura Tamblyn Watts, an advocate for older Canadians, called the attack a "failure of the entire system," a system she says often puts costs ahead of safety when it comes to providing services for seniors and the disabled.
Powerful seniors’ groups lobby for emotion-focused care in nursing homes
Toronto Star online
“We are looking at this across the country and working with local communities to see if the Butterfly Model or similar types of models would be the best fit,” said Laura Tamblyn Watts, national legal director of CARP, formerly the Canadian Association of Retired Persons.
Hey realtors and family members, stop pushing seniors to sell their homes
Globe and Mail online
“What these numbers don’t capture is the pressure that people feel before they call it abuse,” Ms. Tamblyn Watts said. Some of this pressure comes from realtors in search of new listings – CARP hears a lot about this. Family pressure is a more complex issue, some of it resulting from the best of intentions.
Featured Articles (1)
L. Tamblyn Watts, et al.
This article provides an overview of the development of a research agenda on resident-to-resident aggression (RRA) in long-term care facilities by an expert panel of researchers and practitioners. A 1-day consensus-building workshop using a modified Delphi approach was held to gain consensus on nomenclature and an operational definition for RRA, to identify RRA research priorities, and to develop a roadmap for future research on these priorities.