Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

August 31, 2010 11:30 ET

Government of Canada Continues to Show Strong Support for Seniors

New Horizons for Seniors Program provides ongoing opportunities for communities across Canada

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Aug. 31, 2010) - The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State (Seniors), visited a local seniors' organization today to highlight Government of Canada support for seniors, including a new funding opportunity. 

"Our government recognizes the ongoing contributions that seniors make to our communities, workplaces and society," said Minister of State Ablonczy. "That is why we are working hard to ensure that our policies, programs and services continue to provide opportunities for seniors to improve their well-being and quality of life."

Minister of State Ablonczy announced a call for proposals under the Capital Assistance component of the New Horizons for Seniors Program. Up to $25,000 in funding per project is being made available for non-profit organizations to upgrade facilities or equipment used for existing seniors' programs and activities.

Minister of State Ablonczy also highlighted over $70,000 in Capital Assistance funding awarded in May to five local organizations, including the Indian Ex-Servicemen Immigrant Association, which hosted the event. 

Since 2006, the Government of Canada has introduced a number of initiatives in support of Canada's seniors, including:

  • Creating the position of Minister of State (Seniors) to bring the concerns of older Canadians to the Cabinet table, and stand up on their behalf. The Minister of State also works in cooperation with her provincial and territorial counterparts. At their annual meeting in July 2010, the federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for seniors agreed on the pressing need to address the opportunities and challenges associated with the country's aging population;

  • Creating the National Seniors Council to provide advice to the federal government on matters related to the well-being and quality of life of seniors. The Council will look at seniors' and near seniors' labour force participation, and at intergenerational relations, as its next priorities;

  • Providing $2.3 billion annually in tax relief to seniors and pensioners through measures such as income splitting and increasing the Age Credit;

  • Increasing funding to the New Horizons for Seniors Program, which helps seniors use their leadership, energy and skills to benefit communities across Canada;

  • Helping to fight against elder abuse in all its forms through the Federal Elder Abuse Awareness Initiative; and

  • Introducing legislation to support the establishment of National Seniors Day, in recognition of seniors' continuing contributions to Canadian communities, workplaces and society.

This call for proposals for Capital Assistance funding is open until October 8, 2010, throughout Canada, except in Quebec, where a current call for proposals for Capital Assistance as well as Community Participation and Leadership funding is open until September 17, 2010. For more information, please visit the following website:

Further information about the Government of Canada's support for seniors can be found at

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


New Horizons for Seniors Program:

Since its beginning, the New Horizons for Seniors Program has funded over 6 500 projects across Canada, helping seniors to use their leadership, energy and skills to benefit our communities.

In March 2010, just over $15.8 million in Community Participation and Leadership funding was awarded for 2009–2010 projects. In May 2010, more than $8.5 million in funding was awarded for 2009–2010 Capital Assistance projects, including over $70,000 for the following five projects in Calgary:

  • The Indian Ex-Servicemen Immigrant Association received $5,000 for its project to replace outdated computer equipment so that seniors can continue to benefit from using new technology. 

  • The Bow Cliff Seniors Association received $22,448 for its project to upgrade screens and doors in order to continue providing recreational activities for seniors.

  • The Kerby Assembly received $10,000 for its project to replace tables and chairs needed to provide educational and wellness activities.

  • The Parkridge Community Association received $24,029 for its project to renovate its building from top to bottom, as well as to purchase new appliances and entertainment equipment for seniors' enjoyment.

  • The Club de l'Amitié de Calgary received $9,439 for its project to replace chairs that are used to provide Francophone seniors with activities such as bingo, card games and music nights.

The Program offers three types of funding to organizations:

  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.

  2. Capital Assistance Funding: This funding helps non-profit organizations that need to upgrade facilities or equipment used for existing programs and activities for seniors. It enables 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 at a national or regional level. Through this funding, new educational and awareness resources about elder abuse are made available to improve quality of life, safety and security for seniors.

National Seniors Council:

The National Seniors Council was created in March 2007 to advise the federal government on all matters related to the well-being and quality of life of seniors.

The Council reports to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development in light of her responsibilities for seniors, and to the Minister of Health, reflecting the importance of health-related issues for older Canadians. The ministers are supported by the Minister of State (Seniors), who oversees the Council in its day-to-day operations.

The Council's next priorities are to look at labour force participation and at intergenerational relations. The first priority will explore what today's seniors, as well as people approaching their senior years, think about retirement and working past retirement age. Seniors are living longer, healthier lives, and many would like to continue playing a role in the workforce.

Canada's demographic picture is changing, and the next two decades will see a large increase in the number of seniors. Many people's perceptions about the different generations may be changing as well. For its second priority, the Council will identify areas warranting particular attention, and will explore ways to foster intergenerational dialogue.

Elder Abuse:

As part of Budget 2008 commitments, the Government of Canada established the Federal Elder Abuse Initiative, which included the launch of a national elder abuse awareness advertising campaign in 2009.

Entitled Elder Abuse – It's Time to Face the Reality, the campaign ran during the months of June and October 2009, and consisted of television, print and Web components aimed at encouraging Canadians to take action towards preventing elder abuse. The second national flight of the campaign will run from October to December 2010.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    Office of Minister of State Ablonczy
    Alayne Crawford
    Senior Communications Advisor