Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

May 15, 2009 11:35 ET

Government of Canada and National Seniors Council Listen to Seniors in Thunder Bay

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 15, 2009) - Members of the National Seniors Council (NSC) met with seniors' organizations and service providers in Thunder Bay today to explore two new NSC priorities: volunteering among seniors, and positive and active aging.

"The Government of Canada recognizes seniors as valuable members of society who contribute a diversity of skills, knowledge and experience to their families and communities," said the Honourable Marjory LeBreton, Leader of the Government in the Senate and Minister of State (Seniors), who oversees the work of the National Seniors Council. "That is why our Government has asked the National Seniors Council to make volunteering among seniors and positive, active aging its new priorities."

"We are confident that the work of the National Seniors Council will help the Government of Canada better understand the needs of seniors who are willing to dedicate their time and energy to their communities and their country," said Mr. Jean-Guy Souliere, Chair of the NSC. "We are also very pleased to look into what it takes for seniors to stay active, remain engaged and continue contributing to society."

This roundtable is the first in a series of cross-Canada roundtables on volunteering among seniors and positive and active aging. Since 2007, the NSC has undertaken work on elder abuse and low income among seniors, convening roundtable meetings across Canada with stakeholders and seniors' organizations. These roundtables present an opportunity for the Council to identify possible areas for action to support seniors.

The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that policies, programs and services meet the evolving needs of seniors. Canada's Economic Action Plan announced a number of new initiatives that will have a positive effect on seniors:

- Increasing the Age Credit by $1,000 for 2009 and beyond to allow eligible seniors to receive up to an additional $150 in annual tax savings.

- Providing $400 million over two years through the Affordable Housing Initiative for the construction of housing units for low-income seniors.

- Providing seniors with $200 million in tax relief by reducing the required minimum withdrawal amount for 2008 from Registered Retirement Income Funds by 25 percent, in recognition of the impact of the deterioration in market conditions on retirement savings.

- Helping older workers and their families through these tough economic times by investing an additional $60 million over three years in the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers, and by expanding the number of eligible communities to include older workers in small cities.

- Establishing an independent Task Force to make recommendations on a cohesive national strategy on financial literacy for Canadians.

In addition, the Government of Canada is supporting positive and active aging through the collaborative Age-Friendly Communities initiative, Canada's Physical Activity Guide to Healthy Active Living for Older Adults, and falls prevention initiatives.

For more information on the NSC, please visit

Contact Information

  • Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    Office of Minister LeBreton
    Rebecca Murphy