Government of Canada helps seniors and families through new community projects across country

OTTAWA, April 18, 2016 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, today announced a new partnership with stakeholders through the Social Partnership Initiative in Official Language Minority Communities (OLMC). As part of the Roadmap for Canada's Official Languages 2013–2018: Education, Immigration, Communities, and funded through the Social Development Partnerships Program (SDPP), the Fédération des aînées et aînés francophones du Canada (FAAFC) will receive $3.4 million to pool expertise and resources to fund innovative projects in OLMCs that address community priorities.

This initiative will create stronger partnerships at the national, regional and local level to help both French- and English-speaking minority communities create opportunities to keep youth in their communities, help meet the needs of seniors, and assist our most vulnerable populations.

The Government of Canada is committed to working collaboratively with partners and stakeholders to promote the well-being of people in communities across the country, particularly through economic and social security. Budget 2016 delivers on the Government's agenda to empower all Canadians to build better lives for themselves and to enable them to contribute to, and share in, the prosperity of the country.

Budget 2016 also makes the goal of a comfortable and dignified retirement more attainable for seniors and working Canadians, through measures such as restoring the age of eligibility for Old Age Security benefits from 67 to 65. This change will put up to $17,000 into the pockets of the lowest income Canadians each year, as they become seniors. In addition, Budget 2016 proposes to increase the Guaranteed Income Supplement top-up by $947 annually for the most vulnerable single seniors.

Quotes

"Our Government is working hard to ensure the economic and social security of our families and seniors. Through innovative new partnerships such as our work with the Fédération des aînées et aînés francophones du Canada, and key measures announced in Budget 2016, we will continue to focus our efforts on fostering a prosperous future for our country."
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

"This is a big day for francophone organizations working in social development. This funding from the federal government will allow francophone communities to undertake new initiatives that focus on innovation and community leadership—initiatives that will allow francophones to enjoy new services and programs aimed at helping them reach their full social potential."
Roland Gallant, President of La Fédération des aînées et aînés francophones du Canada

Associated Links

Budget 2016
Social Development Partnerships Program
Fédération des aînées et aînés francophones

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Backgrounder


Partnering with stakeholders in Official Language Minority Communities

The Government of Canada has launched an innovative new partnership with stakeholders through the Social Partnership Initiative (SPI) in Official Language Minority Communities (OLMC). As part of the Roadmap for Canada's Official Languages 2013–2018: Education, Immigration, Communities, and funded through the Social Development Partnerships Program (SDPP), $4 million will be delivered through intermediary organizations that have strong and broad engagement with OLMCs.

Through extensive partnerships, these organizations will pool expertise, government and other funding for redistribution to innovative projects in OLMCs that address community priorities for youth in transition (creating opportunities to retain youth in their communities), changing demographics (seniors' needs), and vulnerable populations.

These organizations will further assist in partnership development at the local level to help sustain project activities and share learnings in both French- and English-speaking minority communities across Canada.

Social Development Partnerships Program

The Social Development Partnerships Program (SDPP) is a grant and contribution program that supports the social infrastructure of Canadian society through investment in not-for-profit organizations to help improve life outcomes for people with disabilities, children and families, and other vulnerable populations.

The SDPP has two core components: the children and families component and the disabilities component. The program also provides the funding authority to support the Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards, which recognizes the enormous contribution volunteers make to Canada.

SDPP objectives are to:

  • support the development and use of effective approaches to address social issues and challenges;
  • develop, exchange and apply knowledge, tools and resources that address social needs of individuals, families and communities;
  • foster partnerships and networks to address existing and emerging social issues;
  • recognize and support the ability of not-for-profit organizations to identify and address social development priorities; and
  • recognize and promote community engagement initiatives (e.g. volunteerism, corporate social responsibility, innovation by not-for-profit organizations, partnerships and coalitions) that mobilize community assets and develop capacities and resources for action.

Economic and social security for seniors

Budget 2016 makes the goal of a comfortable and dignified retirement more attainable for seniors and working Canadians through various measures, such as restoring the age of eligibility for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) from 67 to 65. This change will put up to $17,000 into the pockets of the lowest income Canadians each year, as they become seniors.

Restoring the age of eligibility for the OAS pension and the GIS from 67 to 65 is only one of the many enhancements announced that will help improve the quality of life for seniors.

Additional measures include:

  • increasing the GIS top-up by $947 annually for the most vulnerable single seniors;
  • providing higher benefits to senior couples receiving GIS and Allowance benefits and who are living apart for reasons beyond their control;
  • enhancing the Canada Pension Plan based on consultations with provinces, territories and Canadians, with the goal of being able to make a collective decision before the end of 2016;
  • looking at how a new Seniors Price Index that reflects the cost of living faced by seniors could be developed; and,
  • providing for the construction, repair, and adaption of affordable housing to help the many seniors who face challenges in accessing affordable housing.

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 projects and pan-Canadian projects.

Community-based projects

Community-based project funding supports activities that engage seniors and address one or more of the program's five objectives: volunteering, mentoring, expanding awareness of elder abuse, social participation and capital assistance. These projects are eligible to receive up to $25,000 per year per organization in grant funding.

Close to 1,850 projects across Canada were approved through the NHSP 2015–2016 Call for Proposals for Community-Based Projects and are now in progress.

The NHSP 2015–2016 Call for Proposals for Community-Based Projects closed on July 10, 2015. It invited organizations 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.

It is anticipated that the NHSP 2016–2017 Call for Proposals for Community-Based Projects will be launched in spring 2016. For more information on the NHSP, visit Canada.ca/Seniors.

Pan-Canadian projects

Pan-Canadian projects test and share best practices across the country and replicate interventions that have worked well in addressing seniors' issues.                                                                                                                                

Projects that have received funding through the NHSP 2015–2016 Call for Proposals for Pan-Canadian Projects submitted an impact plan describing the roles they and their project partners would play in addressing the important issue of social isolation among seniors by using collaborative approaches that place an emphasis on measurable results.

Successful projects are up to three years in duration and are receiving funding between $150,000 and $750,000.

More than $24.3 million (more than $8.1 million per year over the next three years) will be made available for pan-Canadian projects funded through the 2015–2016 NHSP Call for Proposals.

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

 

SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information: Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca


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