Government of Canada supports seniors in Saguenay

    CHICOUTIMI, QC, Feb. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - The 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 celebrated funding for four projects under
the Government of Canada's New Horizons for Seniors Program in Saguenay. This
funding will help ensure that seniors in the area have the opportunity to
participate and take an active leadership role within their communities.
    Speaking at the Centre de prévention du suicide 02, Mr. Lebel noted that
funding of almost $70,000 is being invested in the following four projects in

    - Carrefour Communautaire St-Paul, secteur Sainte-Thérèse ($12,133);
    - Centre d'action bénévole de Chicoutimi Inc. ($17,462);
    - Centre de prévention du suicide 02 ($25,000); and
    - Vie Active Saguenay ($15,333).

    Throughout Quebec, total funding of $4,401,638 is being provided for
245 New Horizons for Seniors Program projects to support 141 communities.
    "The Government of Canada is proud to support seniors in strengthening
our communities and building our country," said Mr. Lebel. "The four projects
that we are funding in Saguenay will encourage seniors to continue sharing
their skills, wisdom and experience to benefit others."
    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 addressing the needs of Canada's seniors
through the introduction of a series of important measures that include the

    - 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;
    - allowing seniors to build their retirement savings in Registered
      Pension Plans and Registered Retirement Savings Plans for an extra two
      years until the age of 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:


                       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 the following 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.


    Organisation          Project Title                 City         Amount
    communautaire                                      Ville        $12,133
    St-Paul,         L'échange intergénérationnel     Saguenay
    bénévole de      Carrefour d'information           Ville        $17,462
    Chicoutimi            pour les aînés              Saguenay
    Centre de        Rallions la sagesse pour          Ville        $25,000
    prévention           mieux prévenir               Saguenay
    du suicide 02         la détresse
    Vie Active                                         Ville        $15,333
    Saguenay           S'activer ensemble             Saguenay

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; This
news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

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