OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 1, 2012) - Today, the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), marked Canada's National Seniors Day at a traditional tea event organized by the Bruyère Foundation and hosted by the Fairmont Château Laurier in Ottawa, Ontario.
"I am pleased to be here today on the occasion of National Seniors Day to honour and celebrate this country's seniors," said Minister of State Wong. "The Government of Canada is committed to the continued well-being of seniors and we believe that, ultimately, their well-being depends on staying active, engaged and informed."
Minister of State Wong praised the Bruyère Foundation for its support and dedication to the continued care of Canadian seniors. She also congratulated the Fairmont Château Laurier on its 100th birthday.
The Government of Canada officially established National Seniors Day in 2010 to provide an occasion for all Canadians to celebrate and appreciate seniors. It coincides with the United Nations International Day of Older Persons.
People looking for ideas to celebrate the seniors in their lives, or who wish to learn more about National Seniors Day, programs and services for seniors or tips on how to better stay active, engaged and informed, are encouraged to visit www.seniors.gc.ca.
This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.
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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 in 2011. This was the largest increase in 25 years to the GIS, for the lowest-income seniors. This measure further improves the financial security and well-being of more than 680 000 seniors across Canada. It represents an investment of $1.5 billion over five years;
- increasing funding to the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) in Budget 2011 by $5 million, bringing the Program's annual budget to $45 million. The Program helps seniors use their leadership abilities, energy and skills to benefit communities across Canada;
- providing Canadians with close to $76 billion this year through Canada's public pension system;
- providing $2.5 billion in additional tax relief to seniors and pensioners through measures such as enabling pension income splitting and increasing the Age credit in 2012-2013;
- 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;
- appointing a Minister of State (Seniors)-someone who can bring the concerns of older Canadians to the Cabinet table and stand up on their behalf;
- ongoing actions to address elder abuse, which include: awareness campaigns; the NHSP, which funds projects to raise awareness of elder abuse; and recently proposed legislation that would help ensure consistently tough penalties for offences involving the abuse of elderly persons; and
- developing seniors.gc.ca as a central resource for Government of Canada information relating to seniors and seniors' initiatives.