VANCOUVER, June 14, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Alice Wong,
Minister of State (Seniors), marked the upcoming World Elder Abuse
Awareness Day by encouraging communities to get informed about this
serious issue and help seniors to protect themselves against abuse.
The Government of Canada has made combatting elder abuse a top priority
and is addressing the issue through awareness activities, legislation,
and the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP).
During her visit to the Multicultural Helping House Society (MHHS),
Minister Wong announced over $24,500 in NHSP funding to support its
project entitled Breaking the Silence of Abuses: Empowering Elders.
Seniors will play a leading role in the project by helping to produce
video recordings of testimonials from elderly people who have
experienced abuse. They will also compile resources on elder abuse,
including financial abuse, for use in awareness sessions that will
encourage peer sharing, mentoring and networking.
The Government of Canada is providing more than $33.4 million in funding
for over 1,770 community-based projects across Canada. These projects,
approved through the NHSP's 2013-2014 call for proposals, will lead to
new programs and activities for seniors.
Economic Action Plan 2014 has recently proposed an extra $5 million per
year for the NHSP to support more projects that benefit seniors. This
is in addition to the $45 million the Government already provides to
this program annually.
Since 2006, the NHSP has funded more than 13,000 projects in hundreds of
communities across Canada. NHSP funding supports projects that focus on
issues like elder abuse, social isolation and intergenerational
On May 13, 2014, Minister Wong launched the NHSP 2014-2015 Call for
Proposals for Community-Based Projects. Through this call for
proposals, which will close on July 4, 2014, organizations may receive
up to $25,000 in grant funding for projects that are led or inspired by
June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. It was first launched by the
World Health Organization and the International Network for the
Prevention of Elder Abuse in 2006 to bring attention to the abuse and
neglect that some older adults experience and how such abuse and
neglect can be prevented.
To better protect seniors from mistreatment such as fraud and financial
abuse, the Government has passed or introduced legislation such as the
Digital Privacy Act to amend the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
A brochure on powers of attorney and joint bank accounts was released in November
2013 by the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for
Seniors Forum to inform seniors about the risks, benefits and possible
unintended consequences of opening a joint bank account or granting
someone a power of attorney.
The Government of Canada website seniors.gc.ca provides seniors, their families and caregivers with important
information and resources about elder abuse.
"In anticipation of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, our government is
encouraging communities across the country to raise awareness of this
serious issue and empower seniors to protect themselves. I applaud
Multicultural Helping House Society for taking on this project that
educates and inspires seniors to work within their community to combat
- The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors)
"Thanks to the generous funding from the Government of Canada's New
Horizons for Seniors Program, organizations like the Multicultural
Helping House Society have the opportunity to empower seniors through
workshops and mobilize key partners and stakeholders in breaking the
silence of elder abuse. This program will certainly benefit the seniors
' population in British Columbia."
- Tomas Avendano, President and Chief Executive Officer, Multicultural
Helping House Society
The New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) is a federal grants and
contributions program that supports projects led or inspired by seniors
who make a difference in the lives of others and in their communities.
Through the NHSP, the Government of Canada encourages seniors to share
their knowledge, skills and experiences to the benefit of others.
NHSP funding is targeted to community-based projects, pan-Canadian
projects and pilot projects that focus on issues such as social
isolation and intergenerational learning.
Community-based project funding supports activities that engage seniors
and address one or more of the program's five objectives: volunteering,
mentoring, social participation, capital assistance and expanding
awareness of elder abuse. These projects are eligible to receive up to
$25,000 per year per organization in grant funding.
Pan-Canadian projects provide support to help seniors protect themselves
from elder abuse, including financial abuse and fraud. These projects
help community members recognize elder abuse in all its forms and
improve the quality of life, safety and security of seniors. Projects
focus on developing tools, resources and promising practices that can
be adapted and shared across communities, regions or the entire
country. These projects may be eligible to receive up to $250,000 per
year for a maximum of three years.
Pilot project funding provides support to help address seniors'
isolation by establishing better social support networks and resources
and initiating community interventions. It also supports
intergenerational learning projects that help seniors develop new
interests and share their knowledge and experience with others. These
pilot projects are eligible to receive up to $100,000 in federal
funding over a maximum of 24 months, which will be matched with funding
from other sources.
For more information on the NHSP, visit esdc.gc.ca/seniors.
Government of Canada's support of elder abuse prevention
Protecting Canada's Seniors Act
The Protecting Canada's Seniors Act, which came into force in January 2013, better protects seniors by
ensuring tougher sentences for those who take advantage of elderly
Canadians. Under the amendments to the Criminal Code, evidence that an offence had a significant impact on the victims due
to their age—and other personal circumstances such as their health or
financial situation—will now be considered an aggravating factor for
Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act
The Government of Canada recently introduced the Digital Privacy Act in
Parliament, which amends the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). PIPEDA sets the rules private sector organizations must follow
when collecting, using or disclosing personal information in the course
of commercial activity.
The new legislation will also allow banks and other organizations to
notify officials or a client's next of kin if they suspect that an
elderly client is the victim of financial abuse. Officials at Industry
Canada, with the support of Employment and Social Development Canada,
will work with the Privacy Commissioner of Canada to provide guidance
to banks and other affected organizations about factors to be
considered in using their discretion in this area and about related
Canadian Victims Bill of Rights
The Government of Canada recently announced the introduction of
legislation to create a Canadian Victims Bill of Rights that would
transform the criminal justice system by creating, at the federal
level, clear rights for victims of crime—a first in Canadian history.
The Canadian Victims Bill of Rights would transform the role of victims
of crimes in the criminal justice system by creating statutory rights
for them. For the first time in Canadian history, criminal law
provisions would be framed clearly to include rights for victims of
SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information:
Office of the Minister of State (Seniors)
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
Follow us on Twitter