Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

January 28, 2008 13:00 ET

Government of Canada to Help Seniors Participate More Fully in Greater Montreal, the Eastern Townships and Trois-Rivieres

VAUDREUIL-DORION, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Jan. 28, 2008) - The Honourable
Michael M. Fortier, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, and the Honourable Marjory LeBreton, Leader of the Government in the Senate and Secretary of State (Seniors), today announced funding for 121 projects under the New Horizons for Seniors Program to ensure that seniors in Greater Montreal, the Eastern Townships and Trois-Rivieres have the opportunity to participate and take an active leadership role within their communities.

Speaking at the Musee regional de Vaudreuil-Soulanges, Minister Fortier celebrated total funding of $4,401,638 which will benefit 141 communities throughout Quebec. This amount includes $2,305,375 for 117 communities in Greater Montreal, the Eastern Townships and Trois-Rivieres.

"The Government of Canada is proud to support seniors in strengthening our communities and building our country," said Minister Fortier. "These projects will encourage seniors to continue sharing their skills, wisdom and experience to benefit others."

In the 2007 federal budget, the Government of Canada announced an additional investment of $10 million per year for two new components of New Horizons for Seniors-to raise awareness of elder abuse, and to provide capital assistance for upgrades to facilities and equipment used for existing seniors' programs. Projects funded under these new components will be announced in the spring of 2008.

The federal government is also addressing the needs of Canada's seniors through the introduction of a series of important measures that include:

- establishing the National Seniors Council to advise the Government on issues of importance to older Canadians;

- enabling 1.6 million low-income seniors to benefit from increased monthly benefits available under the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) and to make a one-time application for GIS. As long as they file income tax returns every year, these seniors will never have to reapply;

- providing more than $1 billion in tax relief to Canadian seniors and pensioners in Budget 2007;

- enabling seniors to build their retirement savings in Registered Pension Plans and Registered Retirement Savings Plans for an extra two years, until age 71; and

- raising the amount that seniors can claim under the age credit on their tax returns for 2007. With less income taxed, seniors save more.

To ensure that the New Horizons for Seniors Program and the programs provided by the Government of Quebec complement each other, a Canada-Quebec memorandum of understanding sets out the mechanisms for collaboration. Under this memorandum of understanding, the projects funded by the New Horizons for Seniors Program are recommended jointly by representatives of Human Resources and Social Development Canada and the Secretariat aux aines du Quebec, following consultation with the Tables de concertation des aines established in every region of Quebec. This process is fully consistent with the broad cross-Canada policy directions for the Program, under which people who are engaged in seniors' issues review and recommend projects for funding.

Since its launch, the New Horizons for Seniors Program has funded over 2,600 projects across Canada, of which 668 have been in Quebec, inspiring seniors to bring their leadership, energy and skills to projects that benefit their communities. For more information about the Program, please visit the following Web site: http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/community_partnerships/seniors/index.shtml.


BACKGROUNDER

New Horizons for Seniors Program

Across Canada, the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) helps to ensure that seniors are able to benefit from and contribute to the quality of life in their communities through their social participation and active living. This is achieved through funding of community projects that help seniors share their skills, wisdom and experience to benefit others, while reducing their social isolation.

Building on the success of the NHSP, in Budget 2007, the Government of Canada increased the Program's budget by $10 million per year to provide capital assistance for repairs to facilities and equipment related to existing seniors' programs, and to raise awareness of elder abuse across Canada. This has increased the total budget for the NHSP to $35 million per year.

As a result, the Program now offers three types of funding to organizations:

Pre-existing component

1. Community Participation and Leadership Funding: This funding supports community-based projects across Canada. The projects encourage seniors to continue to play an important role in their communities by helping those in need, providing leadership and sharing their knowledge and skills with others.

New funding components

2. Capital Assistance Funding: This funding will help non-profit organizations that need to upgrade facilities or equipment used for existing seniors' programs and activities. It will enable seniors to continue to lead active lives by participating in existing programs and activities in their communities.

3. Elder Abuse Awareness Funding: This funding will help non-profit organizations and coalitions raise awareness of the abuse of older adults on a national or regional level. Through this funding, new educational and awareness resources about elder abuse will be available to improve quality of life, safety and security for seniors.

A table entitled "Funding to New Horizons for Seniors Program Projects in Greater Montreal, Eastern Townships and Trois-Rivieres" is available at the following address: http://www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/hrca0128.pdf

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

Contact Information

  • Service Canada Communications
    Pascal Doucet
    Media Relations Coordinator
    514-982-2384, ext. 2209
    or
    Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations
    819-994-5559