Government of Canada supports seniors in Eastern Townships and Central Québec



    SAINT-ALBERT, QC, Jan. 24 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Christian
Paradis, Secretary of State (Agriculture), on behalf of the Honourable Monte
Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, and the
Honourable Marjory LeBreton, Leader of the Government in the Senate and
Secretary of State (Seniors), today celebrated funding for five projects under
the New Horizons for Seniors Program to ensure seniors in the Eastern
Townships and Central Quebec have the opportunity to participate and take an
active leadership role within their communities.
    Speaking at Municipalité de Saint-Albert, Secretary of State Paradis
announced total funding of $66,083 which will benefit five communities. This
includes $17,400 for Club âge d'or Saint-Albert, for their project Journal
aînés - J'ai La Bougeotte.
    "The Government of Canada is proud to support seniors in strengthening
our communities and building our country," said Secretary of State Paradis.
"These five projects we are funding will encourage seniors in the Eastern
Townships and Central Quebec to share their skills, wisdom and experience in
their communities."
    Total funding of $4,401,638 is being provided to support 141 communities
throughout Quebec.
    In the 2007 federal budget, the Government of Canada announced an
additional investment of $10 million per year for two new components of New
Horizons for Seniors: to raise awareness of elder abuse, and provide capital
assistance for upgrades to facilities and equipment used for existing seniors'
programs. Projects funded under these new components will be announced in the
spring of 2008.
    The federal government is also addressing the needs of Canada's seniors
through the introduction of a series of important measures that include:

    
    - establishing the National Seniors Council to advise the Government on
      issues of importance to older Canadians;

    - enabling 1.6 million low-income seniors to benefit from increased
      monthly benefits available under the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
      and to make a one-time application for GIS. As long as they file income
      tax returns every year, they will never have to reapply;

    - providing more than $1 billion in tax relief to Canadian seniors and
      pensioners in Budget 2007;

    - enabling seniors to build their retirement savings in Registered
      Pension Plans and Registered Retirement Savings Plans for an extra
      two years until age 71; and

    - raising the amount that seniors can claim under the age credit on their
      tax returns for 2007. With less income taxed, seniors save more.

    To ensure that the New Horizons for Seniors Program and the programs
provided by the Government of Quebec complement each other, a Canada-Quebec
memorandum of understanding sets out the mechanisms for collaboration. Under
this memorandum of understanding, the projects funded by the New Horizons for
Seniors Program are recommended jointly by representatives of Human Resources
and Social Development Canada and the Secrétariat aux aînés du Québec,
following consultation with the Tables de concertation des aînés established
in every region of Quebec. This process is fully consistent with the broad
cross-Canada policy directions for the Program, under which people who are
engaged in seniors' issues review and recommend projects for funding.

    Since its beginning, the New Horizons for Seniors Program has funded over
2,600 projects across Canada of which 668 have been in Quebec, inspiring
seniors to bring their leadership, energy and skills to projects that benefit
their communities. For more information about the New Horizons for Seniors
Program, please visit the following Web site:
http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/community_partnerships/seniors/index.shtml

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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 benefit from and contribute to the quality of life in
their community through their social participation and active living. This is
achieved through funding of community projects that help seniors share their
skills, wisdom and experience to benefit others, while reducing their social
isolation.
    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.
    As a result, the Program now offers three types of funding to
organizations:

    Pre-existing component
    ----------------------

    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.

    New funding components
    ----------------------

    2. Capital Assistance Funding: This funding will help non-profit
       organizations that need to upgrade facilities or equipment used for
       existing seniors' programs and activities. It will enable 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 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.

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                                 backgrounder
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             - FUNDING TO FIVE NEW HORIZONS FOR SENIORS PROGRAM
                 PROJECTS IN SAINT-ALBERT, STE-ANNE-DU-SAULT,
                      VICTORIAVILLE, WINDSOR AND WEEDON

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    Organization          Title of Project        Location            Amount
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    Club âge d'or         Journal aînés
    Saint-Albert          - J'ai La Bougeotte     Saint-Albert       $17,400
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    Club de l'Age d'Or    Eclosion de talents
    de Daveluyville       chez nous               Ste-Anne-du-Sault  $10,698
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    Handicap action
    autonomie
    Bois-Francs           Comité parrainage       Victoriaville       $8,100
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    Maison des jeunes     Nos aînés prennent
    Windsor-Richmond      le virage               Windsor            $12,385
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    Comité culturel       Ciné-Club
    de Weedon Inc.        intergénérationnel      Weedon             $17,500
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For further information:

For further information: This news release is available in alternative
formats upon request. Additional information (media only): Yan Plante, Office
of the Secretary of State (Agriculture), Cell: (613) 292-1906


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