Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

March 18, 2011 15:27 ET

Government of Canada Improves Seniors' Quality of Life Across Canada

VAUGHAN, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 18, 2011) - Communities across Canada will be improving the well-being of seniors as a result of the Government of Canada's support of 810 projects. The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of State (Seniors) made this announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

"Our government supports Canadian seniors, who make valuable contributions to building Canada everyday," said Minister of State Fantino. "It is important that we help them continue to share their wisdom and skills. That is why our Government is investing in local organizations that encourage seniors to lead and participate in important community projects."

Through the New Horizons for Seniors Program, non-profit organizations are receiving $10.6 million in Capital Assistance funding to upgrade facilities or equipment required for existing seniors' programs and activities.

"The New Horizons for Seniors projects, led or inspired by seniors, are helping them make a positive difference in their own lives and others in their communities," said Minister Finley. "That is why our government is proud to support local initiatives that encourage seniors to be active and connected in their neighbourhoods."

The Government of Canada is making enhancements to the Program. These enhancements will allow a broader array of organizations to develop a greater variety of projects to meet the changing needs of communities.

Since 2006, the Government has supported seniors by implementing several key measures, including many in Canada's Economic Action Plan, which are:

  • completely removing 85 000 seniors from the tax rolls;

  • raising the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) exemption from $500 to $3,500. A single pensioner, for example, earning $3,500 or more, will now be able to earn up to an additional $1,500 in annual GIS benefits;

  • bringing in pension income splitting;

  • introducing an automatic renewal of GIS so seniors no longer have to reapply each year;

  • providing $400 million over two years through the Affordable Housing Initiative for the construction of housing units for low-income seniors;

  • raising the age credit amount—twice, including an increase by $1,000 for 2009 and beyond to allow eligible seniors to receive up to an additional $150 in annual tax savings;

  • doubling the pension income credit; and

  • providing seniors with $200 million in tax relief by reducing the required minimum withdrawal amount for 2008 from Registered Retirement Income Funds by 25 percent, in recognition of the impact of the deterioration in market conditions on retirement savings.

Backgrounder

New Horizons for Seniors Program

The New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) is a federal Grants and Contributions program that supports projects led or inspired by seniors who make a difference in the lives of others and their communities. Through the NHSP, the Government of Canada encourages seniors to share their knowledge, skills and experiences to the benefit of others.

The 2010-11 Capital Assistance Call for Proposals ran from August 30 to October 8, 2010 for all of Canada, except Quebec. In Quebec, the Call for Proposals opened May 3 and closed on September 17, 2010. Approved projects will receive funding to upgrade facilities or equipment required for seniors' programs and activities.

Since its beginning, the Program has funded more than 8,500 projects in hundreds of communities across Canada.

For more information on the Program and the enhancements, or upcoming Calls for Proposals, please visit www.hrsdc.gc.ca/seniors.

- Funding Breakdown by Province and Territory -

Province or Territory Number of Projects Total Funding Amount
Alberta 63 $929,986
British Columbia 68 $927,337
Manitoba 64 $707,777
New Brunswick 26 $504,885
Newfoundland and Labrador 20 $239,740
Northwest Territories 1 $25,000
Nova Scotia 56 $724,621
Nunavut 1 $25,000
Ontario 208 $2,847,497
Prince Edward Island 20 $244,145
Quebec 233 $2,799,087
Saskatchewan 50 $659,296
Yukon 0 0
Total 810 $10,634,371

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister of State Fantino
    Heather Domereckyj
    Director of Communications
    819-953-1221
    or
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559