Government of Canada launches a call for proposals for seniors projects in Quebec



    MONTREAL, May 19 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of
Human Resources and Skills Development, and the Honourable Marjory LeBreton,
Leader of the Government in the Senate and Minister of State (Seniors), today
launched a call for proposals for projects in Quebec under the New Horizons
for Seniors Program.
    The federal program is accepting proposals under both its Community
Participation and Leadership and Capital Assistance funding streams. Funding
is available for local projects that encourage seniors to play a leadership
role in their communities and for non-profit organizations that require
upgrades to the facilities or equipment they use for existing seniors
programs.
    "The Government of Canada recognizes that the knowledge and experience of
seniors are assets that enrich our country," said Minister Finley. "We are
committed to providing seniors with opportunities that engage and encourage
them to make a difference in their communities by sharing their wisdom with
others."
    "Seniors have a wealth of experience that needs to be recognized and
shared," added Minister of State LeBreton. "Whether it's helping a child to
read, sharing skills or mentoring youth, older adults help keep our
communities and traditions strong."
    The deadline for proposals is September 11, 2009. For more information on
this call for proposals, please visit www.hrsdc.gc.ca/seniors.
    In order to ensure coherent and complementary action to the benefit of
seniors, the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec signed a
Protocol setting out ways to collaborate in implementing the New Horizons for
Seniors Program (NHSP).
    Following discussions under the Protocol regarding coordination of
respective calendars, the launch of the federal NHSP Call for Proposals
coincides with that of the Government of Quebec for its programs for seniors,
Du coeur à l'action pour les aînés au Québec and Soutien aux initiatives
visant le respect des aînés. For information on the Government of Quebec's
programs for seniors, please visit: www.mfa.gouv.qc.ca.
    Since its beginning, the New Horizons for Seniors Program has funded over
5,000 projects in hundreds of communities across Canada.
    In Canada's Economic Action Plan, the federal government made a clear
commitment to protect Canadians, including seniors, in difficult times by
implementing several key measures:

    
    - Increasing the Age Credit by $1,000 for 2009 and beyond to allow
      eligible seniors to receive up to an additional $150 in annual
      tax savings.
    - Providing seniors with $200 million in tax relief by reducing the
      required minimum withdrawal amount for 2008 from Registered Retirement
      Income Funds by 25 percent, in recognition of the impact of the
      deterioration in market conditions on retirement savings.
    - Helping older workers and their families through these tough economic
      times by investing an additional $60 million over three years in the
      Targeted Initiative for Older Workers, and by expanding the number of
      eligible communities to include older workers in small cities.
    - Providing $400 million over two years through the Affordable Housing
      Initiative for the construction of housing units for low-income
      seniors.
    - Establishing an independent Task Force to make recommendations on a
      cohesive national strategy on financial literacy for Canadians.


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                                 backgrounder
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                       New Horizons for Seniors Program

    Across Canada, the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) helps to ensure
that seniors are able to actively contribute to and benefit from the quality
of life in their communities.
    Building on the success of the NHSP, in Budget 2007 the Government of
Canada increased the Program's budget by $10 million per year to provide
capital assistance for repairs to facilities and equipment related to existing
seniors' programs, and to raise awareness of elder abuse across Canada. This
has increased the total budget for the NHSP to $35 million per year.

    The Program offers three types of funding to organizations:

    1. Community Participation and Leadership funding (up to $25,000 in
       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 (up to $25,000 in funding): this funding
       helps non-profit organizations that need to upgrade facilities or
       equipment used for existing seniors' programs and activities. It
       enables seniors to continue to lead active lives by participating in
       existing programs and activities in their communities.

    3. Elder Abuse Awareness funding (up to $250,000 in funding annually over
       a maximum of three years): this funding helps non-profit organizations
       and coalitions raise awareness of the abuse of older adults on a
       national or regional level. Through this funding, new educational and
       awareness resources about elder abuse will be available to improve
       quality of life, safety and security for seniors.
    




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, (819) 994-5559; This news release is
available in alternative formats upon request.


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