MP Lebel supports seniors' projects in Saint-Félicien, Roberval and Dolbeau-Mistassini



    ROBERVAL, Qc, Jan. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - Member of Parliament for
Roberval-Lac-Saint-Jean, Mr. Denis Lebel, 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 announced funding for three New Horizons
for Seniors Program projects to ensure seniors in Roberval-Lac-Saint-Jean have
the opportunity to participate and take an active leadership role within their
communities.

    
    Total funding of over $56,000 is being provided to:

    - AQDR secteur Saint-Félicien in Saint-Félicien ($24,950);

    - Association canadienne pour la santé mentale Lac-Saint-Jean in Roberval
      ($18,4770); and

    - Comité des résidants des Jardins du Monastère in Dolbeau-Mistassini
      ($13,530).

    "By providing this funding, the Government of Canada is helping our
seniors become active members in their communities and share their skills,
wisdom and experience," said Mr. Lebel. "We believe that seniors have helped
to build this country, and we're proud to be able to offer programs and
services that will help improve their quality of life."
    In the 2007 federal budget, the Government of Canada announced an
additional investment of $10 million per year for two new components of the
New Horizons for Seniors Program-to raise awareness of elder abuse, and to
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 acting to address 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 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 Program, please visit the
following Web site:
http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/community_partnerships/seniors/index.shtml.

    This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 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 communities 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.


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 backgrounder
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          - FUNDING TO NEW HORIZONS FOR SENIORS PROGRAM PROJECTS IN
                           ROBERVAL-LAC-SAINT-JEAN

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Organisation            Project Title            City            Amount
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A.Q.D.R.                Pont intergénérationnel  Saint-          $24,950
    secteur                                          Félicien
    Saint-Félicien
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Association             Plaisirs de vivre        Roberval        $18,477
    canadienne pour         jusqu'à cent ans
    la santé mentale
    Lac-Saint-Jean
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Comité des résidants    Activités des Jardins    Dolbeau-        $13,530
    des Jardins du          du Monastère             Mistassini
    Monastère
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    




For further information:

For further information: (media only): Pascal Doucet, Media Relations
Coordinator, Service Canada Communications, (514) 982-2384, ext. 2209; Media
Relations, Human Resources and Social Development Canada, (819) 994-5559

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