Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

October 12, 2007 09:00 ET

Canada's New Government Promises Action on Elder Abuse

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 12, 2007) - The Honourable Marjory LeBreton, Leader of the Government in the Senate and Secretary of State (Seniors), today completed a two-day meeting of the National Seniors Council by announcing that Canada's New Government is committed to taking strong action on the issue of elder abuse.

"Elder abuse remains largely hidden behind closed doors because many seniors who experience abuse feel embarrassed, isolated or afraid to speak out," said Minister LeBreton. "Canada's New Government is determined to help seniors remain safe and secure by combating elder abuse-in all its ugly forms."

In Budget 2007, Canada's New Government announced the expansion of the New Horizons for Seniors Program by $10 million per year, with a portion of the new funding to be used for education about elder abuse. A call for proposals will be announced in November 2007.

At the two-day meeting, the Council discussed the findings of recent cross-Canada meetings on elder abuse and considered recommendations
to the Government on how to address the issue.

"Elder abuse is at the front and centre of the Council's agenda," noted Minister LeBreton. "Our work with stakeholders and seniors will allow us to
break down the wall of silence so that Canadians understand that abuse is not tolerated and seniors understand that help is available."

The National Seniors Council was created in March 2007 to advise the Government on matters related to the health and well-being of seniors in Canada. Later this year, the Council is expected to submit a report to the Government on the issue of elder abuse.

For more information on the National Seniors Council, please visit


Government of Canada Initiatives That Address Elder Abuse

Canada's New Government is addressing elder abuse through a variety of actions:

- The National Seniors Council was created in March 2007 to advise Canada's New Government on seniors' issues of national importance. One of the Council's initial priorities is finding ways to raise awareness of elder abuse and combat it.

- Budget 2007 announced an additional $10 million for the New Horizons for Seniors Program to address elder abuse and enable repairs to community buildings and the replacement of equipment related to programs for seniors. A call for proposals is expected later this fall.

- The Family Violence Initiative, coordinated by the Public Health Agency of Canada, consists of 15 member departments, and promotes public awareness of the risk factors of family violence, and the need for public involvement in responding to it. The Family Violence Initiative has identified the abuse of older adults as an issue warranting specific attention in the context of family violence. The group's theme for June 2007 was elder abuse, and it was highlighted in the National Clearinghouse on Family Violence's E-Bulletin (

- The Government of Canada participates in the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Working Group on Safety and Security for Seniors, which has developed materials to help promote awareness of abuse and neglect of older adults. These resources may be found on the Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse's Web site at


The National Seniors Council

The National Seniors Council has been established to advise Canada's New Government on all matters related to the health, well-being and quality of life of seniors. Canada has a diverse and growing seniors' population with approximately 4.2 million people who are 65 or older. In the next 25 years, that number will double to almost nine million people, representing one quarter of the population.

Seniors helped to build this country and make it what it is today. With the creation of the National Seniors Council, Canada's New Government is helping to give Canadian seniors the chance to have a say in the issues that matter to them.

The National Seniors Council provides advice to the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, the Minister of Health, and the Secretary of State (Seniors). Under the leadership of the Chair of the National Seniors Council, the Council:

- advises on current and emerging issues and opportunities related to the quality of life, health and well-being of seniors, both now and in the future;

- undertakes activities such as commissioning research, convening expert panels and round tables, and holding consultative meetings as needed; and,

- delivers well-balanced advice, taking into account the views of experts, seniors, organizations and groups that provide seniors programs and services, provincial/territorial advisory bodies on seniors, and other relevant stakeholders and interested parties.

Contact Information

  • Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    Office of the Secretary of State (Seniors)
    James Maunder