Expert Panel on Older Workers launches public discussion paper


    OTTAWA, March 9 /CNW Telbec/ - Following the appointment of the Expert
Panel on Older Workers, the Honorable Erminie Cohen, Chair of the Panel, today
launched a public discussion paper, Older Workers: Challenges and Policy
Issues. The paper, which highlights the main issues older workers face in the
labour market is available on the Panel's website at www.ow-ta-sec.org and
will serve as a vehicle for the Panel's discussions and consultations.
    In order to develop a comprehensive feasibility study for the Government
of Canada, the Panel will use the discussion paper to facilitate discussions
with governments, labour representatives, academics, employers, and industry
partners. The Panel is also seeking on-line submissions from individual
Canadians and other groups interested in this issue. The closing date for
submissions is Friday, June 15, 2007.
    The Panel's final report will be submitted to the Minister of Human
Resources and Social Development in the summer of 2007. In Budget 2006 the
Government committed to undertake a feasibility study to better understand
older workers' needs and potential measures to assist them.
    "The goal of the feasibility study is to evaluate current and potential
measures to address the challenges faced by displaced older workers, including
the need for improved training and enhanced income support, such as early
retirement benefits" said the Chair of the Panel, the Honourable Erminie
Cohen, a retired Senator.
    The discussion paper identifies challenges faced by the Canadian labour
market, older workers and related competitiveness challenges. "While the
labour market experience of most older workers compares favourably to that of
other groups, many older workers face quite significant challenges in terms of
adjustment to changing economic conditions as well as their continued
participation in the labour force. Our task is to consider the appropriate
policy responses to the range of labour market issues faced by older workers"
said Craig Riddell, Professor with the Department of Economics at the
University of British Columbia, and one of the four Panel members.
    Ms. Cohen pointed out that older workers are an important resource and
their expertise cannot be overlooked, particularly in light of the demographic
and labour supply issues facing Canada.
    "This is the time to share experiences and best practices and identify
solutions and recommendations. For example, we need to consider whether or not
international experiences are relevant to Canada. We have identified a number
of questions that will help set the tone for our discussions," added Ms.
Cohen.
    The release of this discussion paper provides an opportunity for industry
partners, stakeholders, and local authorities to be involved in the
development of concrete recommendations to assist older workers over the long
term.
    Ms. Cohen noted that in addition to the paper being available on the
Panel's Internet site, the public can receive a copy by contacting the
Secretariat for the Expert Panel on Older Workers: (phone) 613-941-2219, or
fax: 613-941-1212.

    This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.



For further information: Dougall Aucoin, Director, Communications &
Consultations, Expert Panel on Older Workers, (613) 941-2219, fax: (613)
941-1212