Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

February 20, 2008 13:38 ET

Government of Canada Supporting Seniors in Newfoundland and Labrador

ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND and LABRADOR--(Marketwire - Feb. 20, 2008) - 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), the Honourable Loyola Hearn, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today announced funding for 22 projects under the New Horizons for Seniors Program. This funding will ensure that seniors in Newfoundland and Labrador have the opportunity to participate and take an active leadership role within their communities.

Speaking at the Battery Hotel and Conference Centre, Minister Hearn announced total funding of $380,009 to support 18 communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.

"The Government of Canada is proud to support seniors in strengthening our communities and building our country," said Minister Hearn. "The 22 projects we are funding will encourage seniors across Newfoundland and Labrador to continue sharing their skills, wisdom and experience to benefit others."

This announcement followed the National Seniors Council Roundtable on Seniors' Well-Being where Council members met with seniors' organizations and service providers to better understand the challenges faced by seniors living on low incomes, particularly women.

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 ensure that federal government policies, programs and services continue to meet the evolving needs of Canada's aging population.

"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."

Similar roundtables are being held across Canada over the next few months, including Quebec City and Woodstock, New Brunswick this week.

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: to raise awareness of elder abuse and to provide 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 New Horizons for Seniors Program has funded 1,690 projects in hundreds of communities across Canada over the past year, inspiring seniors to bring their leadership, energy and skills to projects that benefit our communities. For more information about the New Horizons for Seniors Program, please visit the following Web site: www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/community_partnerships/seniors/index.shtml

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

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

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 community through their social participation and active living. This is achieved through funding of 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.

Government of Canada Initiatives for Seniors

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:

- funding 1,690 projects in hundreds of communities across Canada under the New Horizons for Seniors Program over the last year, inspiring seniors to bring their leadership, energy and skills to projects that benefit our communities;

- 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 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;

- raising the amount seniors can claim under the age credit on their tax returns for 2007. With less income taxed, seniors save more.

A list of the funded projects in Newfoundland and Labrador is available at the following address: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/doca11.pdf

Contact Information

  • Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations
    819-994-5559
    or
    Office of Minister Solberg
    Pema Lhalungpa
    Press Secretary
    819-994-2482