Ageism is a form of prejudice or discrimination based on a person’s chronological or perceived age.  Robert Butler created this term in 1969. Ageism often manifests through stereotypes, exclusionary practices, and other acts of discrimination.  Age discrimination is often institutionalized by rules and policies that are built on ageist stereotypes and serve to limit opportunities based on age.

The term is most frequently used referring to age discrimination directed at elders, although ageism can be directed at different age groups. When describing the systematic exclusion or discrimination against youth by adults the practice is often labelled “adultism.”

Further details about ageism and age discrimination is available here from the Ontario Human Rights Commission.  

Details from the Canadian Human Rights Commission on mandatory retirement and age discrimination can be found here.  

Find more information about activism on this issue from CARP, a Canadian advocacy organization that works to promote freedom from ageism.

Fighting for pensions

A huge factor in ageism is the idea that once people reach a certain age, they lose their value to society. This is obviously not true, but makes it easy for governments and corporations to cut pensions and raise the retirement age. Folks are fighting back for retirement security. Check out the Canadian Labour Congress campaign around retiree rights.  

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable. has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.