Government of Canada and National Seniors Council listen to seniors in Montréal

    MONTREAL, June 5 /CNW Telbec/ - Members of the National Seniors Council
(NSC) met today in Montréal with seniors' organizations and service providers
from across Quebec to explore the NSC's two new priorities: volunteering among
seniors; and positive and active aging.
    "The Government of Canada recognizes seniors as valuable members of
society who contribute a diversity of skills, knowledge and experience to
their families and communities," said the Honourable Marjory LeBreton, Leader
of the Government in the Senate and Minister of State (Seniors), who oversees
the work of the NSC. "That is why our government has asked the National
Seniors Council to make volunteering among seniors and positive and active
aging its new priorities."
    "We are confident that the work of the National Seniors Council will help
the Government of Canada better understand the needs of seniors who are
willing to dedicate their time and energy to their communities and their
country," said Mr. Jean-Guy Soulière, Chair of the NSC. "We are also very
pleased to look into what it takes for seniors to stay active, remain engaged
and continue contributing to society."
    This roundtable is the fifth in a series of cross-Canada roundtables on
volunteering among seniors and positive and active aging. Since 2007, the NSC
has undertaken work on elder abuse and low income among seniors, convening
roundtable meetings across Canada with seniors, seniors' organizations and
other stakeholders. These roundtables present an opportunity for the Council
to identify possible areas for action to support seniors.
    "The Government of Canada applauds the Government of Quebec for
undertaking 17 of its own seniors' roundtables and for its work on
senior-friendly cities. We look forward to working with Quebec to identify
ways to improve the quality of life of Quebec's seniors and all Canadian
seniors," said Minister LeBreton.
    The federal government is committed to ensuring that policies, programs
and services meet the evolving needs of seniors. Canada's Economic Action Plan
announced a number of new initiatives that will have a positive effect on
    - 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
    - Providing $400 million over two years through the Affordable Housing
      Initiative for the construction of housing units for low-income
    - 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.
    - Establishing an independent Task Force to make recommendations on a
      cohesive national strategy on financial literacy for Canadians.
    In addition, the Government of Canada is supporting positive and active
aging through the collaborative Age-Friendly Communities initiative, Canada's
Physical Activity Guide to Healthy Active Living for Older Adults, and falls
prevention initiatives.

    For more information on the NSC, please visit

    This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

For further information:

For further information: (media only): Media Relations Office, Human
Resources and Skills Development Canada, (819) 994-5559; Rebecca Murphy,
Office of Minister LeBreton, (613) 943-0756

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