Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

October 28, 2011 14:22 ET

Minister of State (Seniors) Details Action to Improve Seniors' Lives

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 28, 2011) - The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), today underscored the Government of Canada's commitment to seniors in her address to the Annual General Meeting of CARP Canada by outlining recent action and future plans.

CARP Canada is a national, non-profit organization that set its mandate as the promotion and protection of the interests, rights and quality of life for Canadians as they age. The organization promotes social change for financial security, for equitable access to health care and for freedom from discrimination.

"Canada's seniors have worked their entire lives to help build a better Canada," said Minister Wong. "An aging population comes with opportunities and challenges; I am confident that Canada is uniquely equipped for the task."

Minister Wong talked about steps the Government has taken to ensure seniors' financial security, continued contribution and participation in their communities. She also commented on steps the Government has taken to prevent elder abuse.

More specifically, the Minister addressed two seniors-related commitments that the Government made in its Speech from the Throne last spring.

The Government has already enhanced the Guaranteed Income Supplement to help Canada's most vulnerable seniors. This is the largest increase to the supplement in the past quarter century. It will help the lowest-income seniors make ends meet.

The other commitment was to introduce tougher sentences for those who abuse seniors. Minister Wong said that legislation to address this issue is forthcoming.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

BACKGROUNDER

Seniors-related Initiatives

The Government of Canada is working hard to help improve the lives of seniors on many fronts. These efforts include:

  • introducing a new Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) top-up benefit to help Canada's most vulnerable seniors. This is the largest increase to the GIS for the lowest-income seniors in a quarter century. The measure will further improve the financial security and well-being of more than 680,000 seniors across Canada. It represents a $1.5 billion investment over the next five years;

  • providing $10 million over two years to increase funding for the New Horizons for Seniors Program in Budget 2011. This enhanced support will further the program's objectives by funding a greater number of projects. The program helps seniors use their leadership, energy and skills to benefit communities across Canada;

  • providing Canadians with close to $72 billion this year through Canada's public pension system;

  • providing $2.3 billion annually in additional tax relief to seniors and pensioners through measures such as pension income splitting and increasing the Age Credit;

  • providing $400 million over two years under Canada's Economic Action Plan for the construction of housing units for low-income seniors;

  • supporting positive and active aging through the collaborative Age Friendly Communities Initiative, Physical Activity Tips for Older Adults, and falls prevention initiatives;

  • establishing October 1st as National Seniors Day to recognize the significant and ongoing contributions seniors make to families, communities, workplaces and society; and

  • creating the National Seniors Council in 2007 to provide advice to the federal government on matters related to the well-being and quality of life of seniors.

Contact Information

  • Robert Lynch
    Director, Communications
    Office of Minister of State Wong
    613-790-0219

    Media Relations Office
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    819-994-5559