Minister of State for Seniors celebrates National Seniors Day

TORONTO, Oct. 1, 2013 /CNW/ - National Seniors Day is an occasion for Canadians across the country to show their appreciation and celebrate seniors in their community. To help celebrate National Seniors Day, the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State for Seniors, took part in the Positive Active Aging Forum, hosted by the Ontario Society (Coalition) of Senior Citizens' Organizations (OCSCO).

"I am pleased to participate in today's Positive Active Aging Forum to help celebrate this country's seniors," said Minister of State Wong. "Our Government values the important contributions that older Canadians continue to make in our communities and in our workplaces."

OCSCO received $19,000 in funding from the Government of Canada's New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) to host the forum. Subject matter experts will help increase awareness and understanding of seniors' issues, including barriers to aging well.

"We are pleased to host a free one-day forum,focusing on aging, on National Seniors Day," said John Morency and Carolann Fernandes, co-chairs of the board of directors of OCSCO.  "This event is groundbreaking, as it will not only help us identify the systemic and cultural barriers impacting aging Ontarians, but will provide a forum for participants to find solutions to eliminate barriers of agism."

Minister of State Wong addressed forum participants, which included older adults, caregivers, policy-makers and educators, at the North York Seniors Centre in Toronto. She congratulated the organizers for supporting social participation and inclusion of seniors in their communities.

For tips and resources to celebrate the day, honour the seniors in your life and for information about programs, services and benefits for seniors, visit www.seniors.gc.ca.


Backgrounder


The Government of Canada is working hard to help improve the lives of seniors on many fronts. These efforts include:

  • redeveloping seniors.gc.ca as a central resource for seniors, including a new Information for Seniors section that brings together a variety of federal, provincial/territorial and municipal resources about relevant programs and benefits;
  • providing Canadians with close to $76 billion this year through Canada's public pension system;
  • topping up the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) in 2011 to help Canada's most vulnerable seniors. This was the largest increase in 25 years to the GIS for the lowest-income seniors. This measure improves the financial security and well-being of more than 680 000 seniors across Canada;
  • providing $2.7 billion in 2013 in tax relief to seniors and pensioners through measures such as pension income splitting and increasing the Age credit;
  • providing $400 million over two years under Canada's Economic Action Plan for the construction of housing units for low-income seniors;
  • making a strong investment in the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) through an annual budget of $45 million;
  • actions to address elder abuse, including awareness campaigns, projects funded by the New Horizons for Seniors Program to raise awareness of elder abuse, and legislation to help ensure consistently tough penalties for offences involving the abuse of elderly people; and
  • supporting positive and active aging through the collaborative Age-Friendly Communities Initiative, Physical Activity Tips for Older Adults, and falls-prevention initiatives.

New Horizons for Seniors Program

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 their communities.

Through the NHSP, the Government of Canada encourages seniors to share their knowledge, skills and experiences to the benefit of others. Since 2006, the NHSP has funded more than 11 200 projects in hundreds of communities across Canada.

NHSP funding is available for both pan-Canadian and community-based projects.

Pan-Canadian projects focus on developing or identifying tools, resources and promising practices that can be adapted and shared across communities, regions or the country to address elder abuse. They are eligible for up to $250,000 in funding per year, for up to three years.

Community-based project funding provides support for activities that are led or inspired by seniors and address one or more of the program's five objectives. Community-based projects are eligible to receive up to $25,000 per year per organization in grant funding.

Government initiatives such as the NHSP also help to ensure that seniors maintain their personal health and well-being. Economic Action Plan 2013 proposes to better safeguard the well-being of seniors in a variety of areas, including financial services, financial literacy and health.

SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information:

This news release is available in alternative formats on request.

For further information (media only):

Mark Wall
Director of Communications
Office of Minister of State (Seniors), Alice Wong
1-613-617-7993

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-994-5559
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