Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

February 22, 2008 13:01 ET

Government of Canada and National Seniors Council Listening to Seniors

WOODSTOCK, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwire - Feb. 22, 2008) - Today in Woodstock, Mr. Mike Allen, Member of Parliament for Tobique-Mactaquac, on behalf of the Honourable Marjory LeBreton, Leader of the Government in the Senate and Secretary of State (Seniors), and members of the National Seniors Council met with seniors' organizations and service providers to better understand the challenges faced by seniors living on low incomes, particularly women.

"We want to improve the quality of life of seniors in Canada," said Mr. Allen. "Grassroots meetings like these that allow us to hear their concerns so that we can take decisive action, are an important part of the process."

Similar roundtables are being held across Canada over the next few months, including in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Quebec City earlier this week.

"These roundtables give the Council a great opportunity to get to know people working on the front lines of seniors' issues," said Mr. Jean-Guy Souliere, Chair of the National Seniors Council. "Hearing these views will help us to give the government our best advice to ensure that the evolving needs of Canada's aging population can be met."

Established in March 2007, the National Seniors Council advises the Government of Canada on all matters related to the well-being of seniors and helps to ensure that federal government policies, programs and services continue to meet the evolving needs of Canada's aging population.

The current roundtables follow the Council's cross-Canada meetings on elder abuse, which were held this past fall. In its report on those meetings released in December 2007, the Council called for increased efforts to raise public awareness of elder abuse and to help those who work with seniors share information.

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

- funding 1,690 projects in hundreds of communities across Canada under the New Horizons for Seniors Program over the last year, inspiring seniors to bring their leadership, energy and skills to projects that benefit our communities;

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

For more information on the National Seniors Council, please visit the following Web site:

Contact Information

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