Government of Canada announces project promoting social inclusion of seniors and marks World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

OTTAWA, June 15, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), today announced New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) funding worth $25,000 to HelpAge Canada for their Seen Your Citizen? project. Minister Wong also marked World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD).

Seen Your Citizen? is a community-based project dedicated to supporting social participation and inclusion of seniors. This project aims to raise awareness of agism and stereotyping among generations.

To mark the 10th World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Government of Canada is proud to recognize the work being done here and around the world to raise awareness of elder abuse and help seniors protect themselves from its many forms.

The Government of Canada continues to address elder abuse by supporting a range of measures that help protect seniors from all forms of abuse. The New Horizons for Seniors Program seeks to expand awareness of elder abuse by funding community-based projects.

Through a new NHSP call for proposals for pan-Canadian projects the Government also aims to reduce the social isolation of seniors, which may impact up to 30 percent of Canadian seniors. Social isolation can increase vulnerability and put Canadian seniors at risk of elder abuse.

Quick Facts

  • 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 abuse can be prevented. World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was officially recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2011.
  • The annual NHSP Call for Proposals for Community-Based Projects is open until July 10, 2015. Through the call, organizations are being invited to apply for funding of up to $25,000 for projects that help empower seniors to share their knowledge, skills and experiences with others and support communities by increasing their capacity to address local issues.
  • The NHSP Call for Proposals for Pan-Canadian Projects is also open until July 10, 2015. Pan‑Canadian projects that receive funding will focus on addressing social isolation among seniors in Canada.
  • Since 2006, the NHSP has funded nearly 15,000 projects in hundreds of communities across Canada, representing a total Government of Canada investment of $350 million.
  • Since 2006, $2.8 billion in annual tax relief has been provided to seniors and pensioners.
  • For a wide range of information for seniors, including details on elder abuse awareness, please visit Canada.ca/Seniors.
  • The Government of Canada released the Government of Canada – Action for Seniors report in September 2014. The report is a new information resource highlighting federal programs and services that can be accessed by seniors, their families and caregivers. It was created in collaboration with more than 22 federal departments and agencies. The report can be found on Canada.ca/Seniors.
  • Today's announcement is one example of what the Government is doing to improve Canadians' lives. To help families prosper, the Government is also enhancing the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB), introducing the Family Tax Cut and making improvements to the Child Care Expenses Deduction and the Children's Fitness Tax Credit.
  • The UCCB would increase to up to $1,920 per year for children under the age of 6, and parents would receive a benefit of up to $720 per year for each child aged 6 through 17.
  • The proposed enhancements to the UCCB would provide $160 per month for each child under the age of 6 and $60 per month for each child aged 6 through 17.

Quotes

"The Government of Canada is committed to protecting seniors from elder abuse in all its forms. Eye-opening and perspective-changing activities conducted by organizations such as the HelpAge Canada will help foster a revitalized appreciation of the important role seniors play in our communities and a renewed respect for what they have achieved."
– The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors)

"Everywhere across Canada the message is the same: Social isolation of seniors is becoming a deep concern. It renders seniors more vulnerable. HelpAge Canada is dedicated to addressing it. We are pleased to have received support from the Government of Canada's New Horizons for Seniors Program for the Seen Your Citizen? project that fights agism and helps seniors share their life experience."
Jacques Bertrand, Director General, HelpAge Canada

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Backgrounder


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.

The objectives of the NHSP are

  • promoting volunteerism among seniors;
  • engaging seniors in the community through mentoring of others;
  • expanding awareness of elder abuse, including financial abuse;
  • supporting social participation and inclusion of seniors; and
  • providing capital assistance for new and existing community projects and/or programs for seniors. 

NHSP funding supports community-based and pan-Canadian projects.

The annual NHSP Call for Proposals for Community-Based Projects is currently inviting organizations, until July 10, 2015, to apply for funding of up to $25,000 for projects that help empower seniors to share their knowledge, skills and experiences with others and support communities by increasing their capacity to address local issues. More information on how to apply is available at Canada.ca/Seniors.

The 2015–2016 NHSP Call for Proposals for Pan-Canadian Projects is currently inviting organizations, until July10, 2015, to apply for funding for projects that will help to reduce social isolation among seniors by using collaborative approaches that place an emphasis on measurable results. Through this call, organizations are eligible to receive between $150,000 and $750,000 for projects up to three years in duration. The Government of Canada is partnering with the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation and its Innoweave initiative to support the development, implementation and scaling of these collaborative approaches to reduce social isolation among seniors. Applicants can contact Innoweave through its Seniors SI program to obtain support and to learn more about how organizations can work together to address social isolation. More information on how to apply for funding is also available at Canada.ca/Seniors.

For more information on the NHSP, visit Canada.ca/Seniors.

Other Government of Canada measures that support 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 sentencing purposes.

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.

Canadian Victims Bill of Rights Act

In fulfillment of an Economic Action Plan 2014 commitment, the Government of Canada introduced the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights Act, which received Royal Assent on April 23, 2015. The Canadian Victims Bill of Rights will transform the criminal justice system by creating, at the federal level, clear, statutory rights for victims of crime—a first in Canadian history.

The Canadian Victims Bill of Rights will give victims an effective voice in the criminal justice system by amending the Criminal Code to require consideration of a victim at every stage of the criminal process, from bail to sentencing. Amendments to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act will expand the amount of information available to victims and introduce other measures to enhance their participation and protection.

 

SOURCE Canada's Economic Action Plan

For further information: Justin Wood, Office of the Minister of State (Seniors), 613-852-3761; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca


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