Supporters with several advocacy groups gathered in Edmonton Thursday morning to highlight the issues they say are facing Alberta seniors.

The event was organized by Friends of Medicare and coincided with the province’s flag raising for International Day of Older Persons.

“What we want is for Albertans to actually understand that the reality that we have in our continuing care system is not working, that we need to learn from this pandemic and take a step back and reimagine and rethink how we provide care for seniors,” Friends of Medicare executive director Sandra Azocar said.

Carrying signs and banners, the protesters shouted “seniors deserve better” at Seniors and Housing Minister Josephine Pon during the ceremony.

The groups were reportedly upset that they were not personally invited to the event, but the minister said that all were welcome to attend.

Pon also marked the day in a video posted on social media.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for everyone, but especially for seniors,” she said. “Now, more than ever, we need to continue to recognize, celebrate and support seniors.

Alberta is home to over 645,000 seniors. Join me today, on the Day of Older Persons in Alberta, to recognize our seniors and all they have done to build our province. #abseniors pic.twitter.com/ndV6Uiz5Jf

— Josephine Pon (@PonJosephine) October 1, 2020