Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

April 16, 2008 10:30 ET

The Honourable Diane Finley Delivers for Seniors in Simcoe

SIMCOE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 16, 2008) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and Member of Parliament for Haldimand-Norfolk, today announced funding of $10,000 for the Norfolk Heritage Centre in Simcoe under the Government of Canada's New Horizons for Seniors Program.

Minister Finley made the announcement 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).

"The Government of Canada is proud to support seniors in strengthening our communities and building our country," said Minister Finley. "The project we are funding in Simcoe will enable the continuation of programs and activities that play an important role in ensuring quality of life for seniors."

This project will benefit seniors in Simcoe by improving the facilities and equipment needed for them to stay involved and take active leadership roles within their communities.

During a 12-month period, the Norfolk Heritage Centre will be replacing aging archival equipment that is used by seniors and the community at large to research historical data.

This project is funded under a new component of the New Horizons for Seniors Program, Capital Assistance, which helps organizations that support seniors to replace aging equipment or have needed renovations done.

This funding is part of a $10-million-per-year commitment made in the 2007 federal budget to provide capital assistance and to raise awareness of elder abuse. This is in addition to the $19.5 million allocated annually for the Community Participation and Leadership component of the Program.

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 recipients will be able to keep more of their 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 re-apply;

- 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, improving equipment and facilities used for seniors' activities and helping seniors to bring their leadership, energy and skills to benefit our communities. For more information about the Program, please visit

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


New Horizons for Seniors Program

Last year, the Government of Canada increased the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) budget by $10 million per year to provide Capital Assistance funding ($6.7 million) and Elder Abuse Awareness funding ($1.8 million). This has increased the total budget for the NHSP to $35 million per year. Today's announcement is a result of this additional funding for the Capital Assistance component of the Program.

Capital Assistance funding provides support to organizations to replace equipment or renovate their facilities so that they can maintain programs and activities offered to seniors. This helps seniors to continue to participate and lead active lives through programs in their communities.

The overall mandate of the NHSP is to help ensure that seniors are able to benefit from and contribute to the quality of life in their communities through social participation and active living.

As a result of the additional $10 million per year, the Program now offers three types of funding to organizations:

New funding components

1. Capital Assistance funding ($6.7 million): This funding helps non-profit organizations that need to upgrade facilities or equipment used for existing seniors' programs and activities. It enables seniors to continue to lead active lives by participating in existing programs and activities in their communities.

2. Elder Abuse Awareness funding ($1.8 million): 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.

Original component

3. Community Participation and Leadership funding ($19.5 million): 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.

Contact Information

  • Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    Office of Minister Solberg
    Pema Lhalungpa
    Press Secretary