Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

September 30, 2011 11:00 ET

Government of Canada Celebrates Canada's First National Seniors Day

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 30, 2011) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, along with Minister of State (Seniors), the Honourable Alice Wong, kicked off early celebrations in anticipation of Canada's inaugural National Seniors Day, which officially takes place October 1st.

"Canadians now have an official day to celebrate seniors, which coincides with the United Nations' International Day of Older Persons," said Minister Finley. "The Government is proud to pay tribute and recognize the many contributions seniors make to their families, communities, workplaces and society."

Minister Wong joined members of the Multicultural Council for Ontario Seniors to celebrate.

"National Seniors Day is an occasion for all Canadians to appreciate and celebrate seniors," said Minister Wong. "Canada's seniors dedicated their lives to our country — they deserve our thanks as they continue to be influential mentors and leaders in our communities."

The Government of Canada is taking action to ensure that our policies, programs and services continue to improve the well-being and quality of life for seniors.

For ideas and resources to celebrate the seniors in your lives, or for more information on National Seniors Day and the Government's programs and services for seniors, visit www.seniors.gc.ca.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

BACKGROUNDER

Seniors Related Initiatives

The establishment of National Seniors Day builds on the many concrete measures introduced by the Government to improve the well-being and quality of life of Canada's seniors. The 2010 Speech from the Throne announced legislation to create a seniors day. On November 18, 2010, Bill C 40, the Celebrating Canada's Seniors Act, received Royal Assent, officially marking October 1st of each year as National Seniors Day in Canada.

National Seniors Day is just one of a number of initiatives that the Government of Canada has undertaken for seniors in recent years. In the most recent federal budget last June, the Government introduced the following:

  • a new Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) top-up benefit to help Canada's most vulnerable seniors;
  • $10 million over two years to increase funding for the New Horizons for Seniors Program, bringing the program's total 2011–2012 budget to $45 million; and
  • $50 million over two years to extend the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers program until 2013–2014.

The Government of Canada has brought about a number of initiatives in support of seniors:

  • providing Canadians with over $70 billion this year through Canada's public pension system;
  • providing $2.3 billion annually in additional tax relief to seniors and pensioners through measures such as pension income splitting and increasing the Age Credit;
  • providing $400 million over two years under Budget 2009 for the construction of housing units for low-income seniors;
  • supporting positive and active aging through the collaborative Age Friendly Communities Initiative, Physical Activity Tips for Older Adults and fall prevention initiatives;
  • appointing a Minister of State (Seniors)—someone who can bring the concerns of older Canadians to the Cabinet table and stand up on their behalf;
  • creating the National Seniors Council in 2007 to provide advice to the federal government on matters related to the well-being and quality of life of seniors; and
  • investing $13 million over three years in support of the Federal Elder Abuse Initiative (FEAI), which successfully concluded on March 31, 2011. Building on the momentum created through the FEAI, which featured an awareness campaign, the Government of Canada remains active in addressing elder abuse through the New Horizons for Seniors Program.

Contact Information

  • Alyson Queen
    Press Secretary
    Office of Minister Finley
    819-994-2482

    Robert Lynch
    Director, Communications
    Office of Minister of State Wong
    613-960-8717

    Media Relations Office
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    819-994-5559