Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

March 24, 2011 10:00 ET

Minister of State Fantino Announces Support for Canadian Seniors

The Next Phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan improves seniors' quality of life

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 24, 2011) - The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of State (Seniors), today visited the Better Living Community Centre to announce improvements to the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) that were introduced in the Next Phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan.

These improvements will ensure that Canada's most vulnerable seniors are provided with the necessary resources to enjoy their retirement and an improved quality of life.

"Canada's seniors represent a generation of Canadians who helped us build a country that we are all proud of," said Minister of State Fantino. "Our government will continue to provide increased support to seniors through enhancements to the GIS."

The new improvements will help low-income seniors with little or no income other than Old Age Security (OAS) and the GIS. Single seniors with an annual income of $2,000 or less (other than OAS and the GIS), and couples with an annual income of $4,000 or less, will receive the full amount of the benefit, which amounts to $600 for single seniors and $840 for couples.

"Our government is supporting seniors in our communities, and we are committed to ensuring that they have the opportunity to enjoy their retirement in comfort, with an improved quality of life," added Minister of State Fantino.

The new measures will help improve the financial security and well-being of more than 680 000 seniors across Canada.

Since 2006, the Government has provided support to Canadian seniors and pensioners, including:

  • providing over $2 billion in annual tax relief for seniors and pensioners;
  • completely removing 85 000 seniors from the tax rolls;
  • raising the GIS exemption from $500 to $3,500;
  • introducing pension income splitting;
  • introducing an automatic renewal of the GIS, meaning that seniors no longer have to reapply each year;
  • making significant investments in affordable housing for low-income seniors;
  • raising the age credit amount—twice; and
  • doubling the pension income credit.

"Canadian seniors are dedicated to their communities and families," stated Minister of State Fantino. "Seniors can count on our government to support them and their families during this fragile global recovery."

For more information on the enhancements to the GIS or other Budget 2011 measures, please visit

This news release is available in alternative formats on request. 

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister of State Fantino
    Heather Domereckyj
    Director of Communications
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office