OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 7, 2012) - Older workers are a valuable resource, offering their experience and wisdom to Canadian society and to the economy. The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), reiterated this message when she addressed the National Seniors Council (NSC), as well as employers, experts and academics, on issues related to an aging workforce.
"Our government values the important contributions that seniors make in our communities as well as in our workplaces," said Minister of State Wong. "We are working hard to improve the lives of seniors on many fronts, including helping them stay active, engaged and informed."
From June to October, the NSC consulted with a variety of employers to discuss its 2012 priority, seeking their views on how to attract and retain older workers, specifically those most at risk of withdrawing from the labour force or becoming unemployed. Today's national roundtable marks the conclusion of the consultation process and serves to validate what was heard from employers. The NSC will submit a final report to Ministers in spring 2013.
The Government of Canada is committed to the overall well-being of seniors and thus established the National Seniors Council in 2007 to provide advice on current and emerging issues and opportunities related to the quality of life and well-being of seniors, both now and in the future. For more information on the Council, please visit www.seniorscouncil.gc.ca.
For more information on what the Government of Canada is doing for seniors, 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;
- 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 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.