Government of Canada continues to show strong support for seniors

New Horizons for Seniors Program provides ongoing opportunities for communities across Canada

QUEBEC CITY, Aug. 31 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Josée Verner, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Minister for La Francophonie and Minister responsible for the Quebec Region, visited a local seniors' organization today to highlight Government of Canada support for seniors, including a new funding opportunity. 

"Our government recognizes the ongoing contributions that seniors make to our communities, workplaces and society," said Minister Verner. "That is why we are giving tangible support to five local organizations that are doing outstanding work in improving the well-being and quality of life in the Quebec City area."

Minister Verner, who was joined by Senator Suzanne Fortin-Duplessis, reminded participants that the Capital Assistance and Community Participation and Leadership call for proposals is currently open in Quebec. This call falls under the New Horizons for Seniors Program, which provides up to $25,000 in funding per project to non-profit organizations to upgrade facilities or equipment used for existing seniors' programs and activities.

Minister Verner also highlighted over $50,000 in Capital Assistance funding awarded in May to five local organizations, including the Cercle de Fermières Sainte-Monique Les Saules, and Les Chevaliers de Colomb - Conseil 5529 Montcalm, which hosted the event.

"Thanks to this grant, we will benefit from a new loom and three new sewing machines," said Ms. Diane Jalbert, President of the Cercle de Fermières Sainte-Monique-Les Saules. "This equipment will allow us to pass along a tradition and know-how that would otherwise be lost. It will also help break the isolation of some of the area's seniors."

"This grant has allowed us to pursue one of our goals, which is to offer interesting activities and a dynamic meeting place for the seniors of our community," said Mr. Michel Tassé, Grand Master of the Chevaliers de Colomb, Chapter 5529 Montcalm. "It is important to offer a safe and comfortable place where seniors feel welcome." 

Since 2006, the Government of Canada has introduced a number of initiatives in support of Canada's seniors, including:

  • Creating the position of Minister of State (Seniors) to bring the concerns of older Canadians to the Cabinet table, and stand up on their behalf. The Minister of State also works in cooperation with her provincial and territorial counterparts. At their annual meeting in July 2010, the federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for seniors agreed on the pressing need to address the opportunities and challenges associated with the country's aging population;
  • Creating the National Seniors Council to provide advice to the federal government on matters related to the well-being and quality of life of seniors. The Council will look at seniors' and near seniors' labour force participation, and at intergenerational relations, as its next priorities;
  • Providing $2.3 billion annually in tax relief to seniors and pensioners through measures such as income splitting and increasing the Age Credit;
  • Increasing funding to the New Horizons for Seniors Program, which helps seniors use their leadership, energy and skills to benefit communities across Canada;
  • Helping to fight against elder abuse in all its forms through the Federal Elder Abuse Awareness Initiative; and
  • Introducing legislation to support the establishment of National Seniors Day, in recognition of seniors' continuing contributions to Canadian communities, workplaces and society.

This call for proposals for Capital Assistance and Community Participation and Leadership funding is open until September 17, 2010, in Quebec only. A Capital Assistance call for proposals for the rest of Canada opened August 30, 2010, and will close on October 8, 2010. For more information, please visit the following website: href="www.hrsdc.gc.ca/seniors">www.hrsdc.gc.ca/seniors.

Further information about the Government of Canada's support for seniors can be found at href="http://www.seniors.gc.ca/">www.seniors.gc.ca.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


backgrounder


New Horizons for Seniors Program:

Since its beginning, the New Horizons for Seniors Program has funded over 6 000 projects across Canada, helping seniors to use their leadership, energy and skills to benefit our communities.

In March 2010, just over $15.8 million in Community Participation and Leadership funding was awarded for 2009-2010 projects. In May 2010, more than $8.5 million in funding was awarded for 2009-2010 Capital Assistance projects, including over $50,000 for the following six projects in Quebec City:

  • The Cercle de Fermières de Neufchâtel received $9,020 for its project to purchase new weaving equipment and accessories, as well as two new benches, in order for seniors to be able to continue creative arts activities.
  • The Montcalm Branch of the Chevaliers de Colomb received $25,000 for its project to renovate and replace kitchen and bathroom appliances and equipment so that seniors can continue to enjoy their activities in an improved facility. 
  • The Cercle de Fermières Sainte-Monique-Les Saules received $9,992 for its project to replace old weaving machines with new equipment so that seniors can continue to be involved in social activities.
  • The Centre femmes d'aujourd'hui received $3,600 for its project to replace old tables and chairs to provide a more comfortable environment for seniors to take part in creative writing workshops and other activities.
  • Patro de Charlesbourg received $10,000 for its project to replace old tables and chairs to allow seniors to continue enjoying their social activities.

The Program offers three types of funding to organizations:

  1. Community Participation and Leadership Funding: 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.
  2. Capital Assistance Funding: This funding helps non-profit organizations that need to upgrade facilities or equipment used for existing programs and activities for seniors. It enables seniors to continue to lead active lives by participating in existing programs and activities in their communities.
  3. Elder Abuse Awareness Funding: This funding will help non-profit organizations and coalitions raise awareness of the abuse of older adults at a national or regional level. Through this funding, new educational and awareness resources about elder abuse are made available to improve quality of life, safety and security for seniors.

National Seniors Council:

The National Seniors Council was created in March 2007 to advise the federal government on all matters related to the well-being and quality of life of seniors. 

The Council reports to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development in light of her responsibilities for seniors, and to the Minister of Health, reflecting the importance of health-related issues for older Canadians. The ministers are supported by the Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State (Seniors), who oversees the Council's day-to-day operations. 

The Council's next priorities are to look at labour force participation and at intergenerational relations. The first priority will explore what today's seniors, as well as people approaching their senior years, think about retirement and working past retirement age. Seniors are living longer, healthier lives, and many would like to continue playing a role in the workforce.

Canada's demographic picture is changing, and the next two decades will see a large increase in the number of seniors. Many people's perceptions about the different generations may be changing as well. For its second priority, the Council will identify areas warranting particular attention, and will explore ways to foster intergenerational dialogue.

Elder Abuse:

As part of Budget 2008 commitments, the Government of Canada established the Federal Elder Abuse Initiative, which included the launch of a national elder abuse awareness advertising campaign in 2009.

Entitled Elder Abuse - It's Time to Face the Reality, the campaign ran during the months of June and October 2009, and consisted of television, print and Web components aimed at encouraging Canadians to take action towards preventing elder abuse. The second national flight of the campaign will run from October to December 2010.



SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information: For further information:

(media only):


Michelle Bakos   
Press Secretary    
Office of Minister Finley             
819-994-2482   
Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills
Development Canada
819-994-5559

Alayne Crawford
Senior Communications Advisor
Office of Minister of State Ablonczy
613-960-8717


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