Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

January 30, 2008 13:00 ET

Government of Canada Helps Seniors Participate More Fully in Their Communities

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 30, 2008) - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians, on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, and the Honourable Marjory LeBreton, Leader of the Government in the Senate and Secretary of State (Seniors), today announced funding of $54,018 for three projects in Nunavut under the New Horizons for Seniors Program, to ensure seniors have the opportunity to participate and take an active leadership role within their communities.

Funding will benefit three communities throughout Nunavut. This includes $24,000 in funding to the Iqaluit Seniors Inuktitut Language Nests project in Iqaluit.

"The Government of Canada is proud to support seniors in strengthening our communities and building our country," said Minister Strahl. "The three projects we are funding will encourage elders across Nunavut to share their skills, wisdom and experience to benefit others."

The Iqualuit Seniors Inuktitut Language Nests project, organized by the Nakasuk elementary school, is one example of the projects aimed at helping seniors in Nunavut participate more fully in their communities.

"Language preservation is important to the Elders' culture," said Ms. Carol Horn, Principal of the Nakasuk elementary school. "This project has empowered the Elders by leading social interaction to improve the lives of children. It has made a world of difference to our Elders and our children."

In Budget 2007, the Government of Canada announced an additional investment of $10 million per year for two new components of the New Horizons for Seniors Program: raising awareness of elder abuse, and providing capital assistance for upgrades to facilities and equipment used for existing seniors' programs. Projects funded under these new components will be announced in the spring of 2008.

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:

- establishing the National Seniors Council to advise the Government on issues of importance to older Canadians;

- 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 the GIS. As long as these seniors 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;

- allowing 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.

Since its launch, NHSP has funded over 2,600 projects across Canada, inspiring seniors to bring their leadership, energy and skills to projects that benefit our communities. For more information about the Program, please visit the following Web site: http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/community_partnerships/seniors/index.shtml

A detailed list of funded projects in Nunavut is included in the attached backgrounder.


BACKGROUNDER

New Horizons for Seniors Program

Across Canada, the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) helps to ensure that seniors are able to benefit from and contribute to the quality of life in their communities through their social participation and active living. This is achieved through funding community projects that help seniors share their skills, wisdom and experience to benefit others, while reducing their social isolation.

Building on the success of the NHSP, in Budget 2007, the Government of Canada increased the Program's budget by $10 million per year to provide capital assistance for repairs to facilities and equipment related to existing seniors' programs, and to raise awareness of elder abuse across Canada. This has increased the total budget for the NHSP to $35 million per year.

As a result, the Program now offers three types of funding to organizations:

Pre-existing component

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.

New funding components

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

A table entitled "Funding to New Horizons for Seniors Projects in Nunavut" is available at the following address: http://www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/Back_HR0130.pdf

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Solberg
    Pema Lhalungpa
    Press Secretary
    819-994-2482
    or
    Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations
    819-994-5559
    or
    Service Canada
    Adria Patzer
    Communications
    780-495-5606