Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

March 13, 2008 12:00 ET

Government of Canada Supports Seniors in Sydney, Nova Scotia

SYDNEY, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - March 13, 2008) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, 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 congratulated the Kiwanis Club of Cape Breton Golden K on their Ambassador Program, which has been approved to receive funding under the Government of Canada's New Horizons for Seniors Program. This funding will help ensure that seniors in the area have the opportunity to participate and take an active leadership role within their community.

Throughout Nova Scotia, over $600,000 in funding is being provided for 47 projects to support 35 communities, out of which $24,483 is earmarked for the Kiwanis Club of Cape Breton Golden K Ambassador Program in Sydney.

The Ambassador Program is an opportunity for older adults to share their vast knowledge of the area with visitors and residents alike, keeping seniors active and involved in their community. New retirees will be recruited to become ambassadors who will greet cruise ships, visit trade shows, and provide information and support to other interested groups, such as schools and seniors' residences. A retired professor will provide the education component through Cape Breton University's Seniors College.

"The Government of Canada is proud to support seniors in strengthening our communities and building our country," said Minister MacKay. "The project we are funding in Sydney will encourage our seniors to continue sharing their skills, wisdom and experience to benefit others."

Last year, 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.

Budget 2008 and other recent federal initiatives are also addressing the needs of Canada's seniors through the introduction of a series of important measures that include:

- providing $13 million over three years to help seniors and others recognize the signs and symptoms of elder abuse and to provide information on what support is available;

- proposing to raise the current Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) earned income exemption to $3,500 from $500. This means the typical GIS recipient will be able to keep more of her or his hard-earned money without any reduction in GIS benefits;

- enabling 1.6 million low-income seniors to benefit from increased monthly benefits available under the Guaranteed Income Supplement and to make a one-time application for GIS. As long as they file income tax returns every year, these seniors will never have to reapply;

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

- providing more than $1 billion in tax relief to Canadian seniors and pensioners;

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

Since its beginning, the New Horizons for Seniors Program has funded over 2,600 projects across Canada, inspiring seniors to bring their leadership, energy and skills to benefit our communities. For more information about the Program, please visit http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/community_partnerships/seniors/index.shtml.

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 communities 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 NHSP, last year 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.

Contact Information

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