Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

April 24, 2008 17:00 ET

Government of Canada and National Seniors Council Listening to Seniors

WHITEHORSE, YUKON--(Marketwire - April 24, 2008) - Today in Whitehorse, Mr. Bob Mills, Member of Parliament for Red Deer 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 lives of seniors here in Whitehorse, and across Canada, so it is important to hear their concerns first-hand," said Mr. Mills. "By holding these grassroots meetings throughout the country, we are able to collect new ideas that could make Canada an even better place to live for seniors."

"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."

The current roundtables follow the Council's cross-Canada meetings on elder abuse held in the fall of 2007. The Report of the National Seniors Council on Elder Abuse, released in December 2007, can be found at www.seniorscouncil.gc.ca.

The Government of Canada is working hard to help all seniors live healthy and vibrant lives. Budget 2008 delivers on many fronts-from tax relief and stretching retirement savings to assisting older workers, building safer communities and protecting our most vulnerable seniors.

In Budget 2008, the Government of Canada announced funding of $13 million over three years to help raise awareness of elder abuse and help in providing support in communities across Canada.

Budget 2008 also included $60 million per year to ensure that low income seniors who work can realize greater benefits from their earnings through an increase in the Guaranteed Income Supplement exemption. The federal government is addressing the needs of Canada's seniors through these and other important measures that include:

- funding thousands of projects in hundreds of communities across Canada under the New Horizons for Seniors Program since 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.

Today's roundtable is one of a series being held across Canada. In February and March, roundtables were held in Quebec City, Quebec; St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador; Woodstock, New Brunswick; and Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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. For more information on the National Seniors Council, please visit the following Web site: www.seniorscouncil.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Secretary of State (Seniors)
    James Maunder
    613-943-0756
    or
    Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559