OTTAWA, June 13, 2014 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is helping
seniors from various backgrounds better protect themselves from elder
abuse, the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors)
recognized today in a speech held at Jewish Family Services of Ottawa.
The Minister also highlighted that June 15 is World Elder Abuse
Awareness Day (WEAAD).
The Jewish Family Services of Ottawa is receiving $575,000 in New
Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) funding for its JFS Pan-Canadian Elder Abuse Awareness and Education Program for
Ethnocultural Communities three-year project. Collaborating with four partner agencies across the country,
the organization brings together volunteer immigrant seniors to help
develop information materials and awareness-raising programs for
Jewish, as well as other ethnic and cultural communities. By learning
to recognize and prevent elder abuse, seniors can help decrease
incidents of mistreatment. Unique to this program is the use of
theatrical performance as an educational tool.
The Government of Canada has made combatting elder abuse a priority and
recognizes WEAAD each year as part of its own efforts to increase
awareness about the issue. Canadians can help raise awareness of elder
abuse by engaging in discussions, participating in related activities
or helping an elder who may be in distress. To find out more about the
Government's related activities, or to learn how to get involved, visit
Economic Action Plan 2014 has recently proposed an additional $5 million
per year for the NHSP to support additional projects that benefit
seniors. This is in addition to the $45 million the Government already
provides to this program annually.
Since 2006, the NHSP has funded more than 13,000 projects in hundreds of
communities across Canada. NHSP funding supports projects that focus on
issues like elder abuse, social isolation and intergenerational
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
To better protect seniors from mistreatment such as fraud and financial
abuse, the Government has passed or introduced legislation such as the
Digital Privacy Act to amend the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
A brochure on powers of attorney and joint bank accounts was released in November
2013 by the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for
Seniors Forum to inform seniors about the risks, benefits and possible
unintended consequences of opening a joint bank account or granting
someone a power of attorney.
"Our government is proud to work with organizations like Jewish Family
Services of Ottawa whose elder abuse awareness project will go a long
way to ensure that immigrant seniors living in ethno-cultural
communities are safer and more secure. This project will help seniors
better protect themselves from the many forms of elder abuse, such as
neglect and financial abuse. World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is a great
opportunity for Canadians to remember that seniors have played a
central part in building this country, and they deserve to enjoy the
best quality of life possible."
- The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors)
"This project has enabled, for the first time, Jewish family service
agencies across the country to work together to address elder abuse in
communities that often fall through the cracks. By engaging members of
various communities in their respective languages, volunteering seniors
and non-seniors work together to empower others to respond to, and
protect themselves from elder abuse. Jewish Family Services Ottawa is
proud to be leading this project, and is thankful for the funding that
has made it possible."
- Mark Zarecki, Executive Director, Jewish Family Services of Ottawa
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 in their communities.
Through the NHSP, the Government of Canada encourages seniors to share
their knowledge, skills and experiences to the benefit of others.
NHSP funding is targeted to community-based projects, pan-Canadian
projects and pilot projects that focus on issues like social isolation
and intergenerational learning.
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.
Pan-Canadian projects provide support to help seniors protect themselves
from elder abuse, including financial abuse and fraud. These projects
help community members recognize elder abuse in all its forms and
improve the quality of life, safety and security of seniors. Projects
focus on developing tools, resources and promising practices that can
be adapted and shared across communities, regions or Canada. These
projects may be eligible to receive up to $250,000 per year for a
maximum of three years.
Pilot projects funding provides support to help address seniors'
isolation by establishing better social support networks and resources
and initiating community interventions. It also supports
intergenerational learning projects that help seniors develop new
interests and share their knowledge and experience with others. These
pilot projects are eligible to receive up to $100,000 in federal
funding over a maximum of 24 months, which will be matched with funding
from other sources.
For more information on the NHSP, visit esdc.gc.ca/seniors.
Government of Canada's Support of 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
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. Officials at Industry
Canada, with the support of Employment and Social Development Canada,
are working with the Privacy Commissioner of Canada to provide guidance
to banks and other affected organizations about factors to be
considered in using their discretion in this area and about related
Canadian Victims Bill of Rights
The Government of Canada recently announced the introduction of
legislation to create a Canadian Victims Bill of Rights that would
transform the criminal justice system by creating, at the federal
level, clear rights for victims of crime—a first in Canadian history.
The Canadian Victims Bill of Rights would transform the role of victims
of crimes in the criminal justice system by creating statutory rights
for them. For the first time in Canadian history, criminal law
provisions would be framed clearly to include rights for victims of
SOURCE: Canada's Economic Action Plan
For further information:
Office of the Minister of State (Seniors)
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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