Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

February 23, 2009 10:00 ET

Government of Canada Supports 16 Elder Abuse Awareness Projects Across Canada

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 23, 2009) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, and the Honourable Marjory LeBreton, Leader of the Government in the Senate and Minister of State (Seniors), today announced support for 16 projects across Canada under the Government of Canada's New Horizons for Seniors Program to raise awareness of the abuse of older adults.

"The Government of Canada is committed to the well-being of seniors and to combating elder abuse in all its forms, from physical abuse to financial and emotional abuse," said Minister Finley. "These projects across Canada will support programs and activities that increase awareness of elder abuse while improving the quality of life, safety and security for seniors."

Today's announcement represents an investment of more than $4,000,000 to help reduce the incidences of abuse against older adults across the country. Some examples of projects include:

- the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly will undertake a national project to produce and distribute elder abuse prevention, detection and intervention tools and resources for seniors, their families and communities, medical practitioners and other service providers;

- the Community Legal Information Association of Prince Edward Island will develop and distribute legal information and resources to seniors, their families, caregivers and other service providers across the province;

- the Federation des aines et ainees francophones du Canada will develop a number of workshops and an awareness campaign development kit adapted to the specific needs of Francophone seniors in minority settings outside Quebec;

- the British Columbia Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centers will develop awareness raising and educational materials and resources specifically targeted to Aboriginal people to help reduce the incidence of elder abuse within their communities.

"Seniors from all walks of life are vulnerable to elder abuse," said Minister LeBreton. "We want everyone to know that it cannot and will not be tolerated, and that help is available. Seniors deserve to live with dignity and respect, and we as a government are committed to help ensure that their quality of life is not diminished by abuse of any kind."

The projects announced today fall under the Elder Abuse Awareness component of the New Horizons for Seniors Program, which supports national and regional projects. With the two other components of New Horizons for Seniors Program-Community Participation and Leadership and Capital Assistance-the overall budget of the Program is now $35 million per year.

Since its beginning, the New Horizons for Seniors Program has funded over 4,200 projects across Canada, helping seniors to bring their leadership, energy and skills to benefit our communities. For more information about the Program, please visit www.hrsdc.gc.ca/seniors.

The Government of Canada has demonstrated its commitment to seniors and to combating elder abuse in all its forms. Budget 2008 announced an investment of $13.3 million over three years to increase awareness of issues surrounding elder abuse, and to provide seniors with assistance in dealing with it.

In Canada's Economic Action Plan, the federal government made a clear commitment to protect Canadians, including seniors, in difficult times by implementing several key measures:

- Increasing the Age Credit by $1,000 for 2009 and beyond to allow eligible seniors to receive up to an additional $150 in annual tax savings.

- 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.

- Helping older workers and their families through these tough economic times by investing an additional $60 million over three years in the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers and by expanding the number of eligible communities to include older workers in small cities.

- Providing $400 million over two years, through the Affordable Housing Initiative, for the construction of housing units for low-income seniors.

- Establishing an independent Task Force to make recommendations on a cohesive national strategy on financial literacy for Canadians.

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 actively contribute to and benefit from the quality of life in their communities.

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 of the additional $10 million, the Program offers three types of funding to organizations:

1. Community Participation and Leadership funding (up to $25,000 in 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 (up to $25,000 in funding): this funding helps non-profit organizations that need to upgrade facilities or equipment used for existing seniors' programs and activities. It enables seniors to continue to lead active lives by participating in existing programs and activities in their communities.

3. Elder Abuse Awareness funding (up to $250,000 in funding annually over a maximum of three years): this funding helps 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.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    819-994-2482
    or
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559