Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

February 17, 2009 14:00 ET

Government of Canada Supports More Than 800 Projects Across Canada for Seniors

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 17, 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 the Government of Canada's support for more than 800 New Horizons for Seniors Program projects across the country. These projects will ensure that seniors have the opportunity to participate and take an active leadership role in their communities.

Ministers Finley and LeBreton made the announcement at an event held at Lifetime Networks Ottawa, which received funding for its project entitled Mentoring Seniors with Developmentally Disabled Adult Children. Under this project, seniors in the community will mentor other seniors by sharing skills and knowledge to help plan for the future of their adult children with disabilities and develop social networks.

"The Government of Canada is proud to support seniors in strengthening our communities and building our country," said Minister Finley. "These projects across Canada enable seniors to continue participating and taking leadership roles in their communities."

Total funding for these projects under the Community Participation and Leadership component of the New Horizons for Seniors Program is more than $15 million.

"Our goal is to improve the ability of seniors to make a positive difference in their own lives, and of those around them," said Minister LeBreton. "Seniors possess significant experience and have so much knowledge to share."

The Community Participation and Leadership component of the New Horizons for Seniors Program encourages 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.

Projects may address a wide range of activities led by seniors that benefit communities. Examples include organizing a volunteer outreach program between seniors and youth, and teaching peers new skills such as gardening or cooking. To receive funding, activities must be based locally and endorsed by the community.

With two additional components of the New Horizons for Seniors Program-Capital Assistance and Elder Abuse Awareness-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.

Canada's Economic Action Plan and other recent federal initiatives are also addressing the needs of seniors through the introduction of a series of important measures that include:

- Increasing the Age Credit by $1,000, allowing low- and middle-income seniors to receive up to an additional $150 in annual tax savings, for a total of up to $961 in tax relief.

- Providing seniors with $200 million in tax relief by reducing the required minimum withdrawal to the Registered Retirement Income Fund by 25 per cent.

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

- 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 cities with a population of less than 250,000.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

A backgrounder is available at the following address:

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office