VANCOUVER, Oct. 3, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), announced today New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) funding to the Canadian Centre for Elder Law (CCEL)/BC Law Institute and to the Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (CNPEA). CCEL is receiving more than $93,000 for its pilot project, Older Women's Dialogue – Community Engaged Legal Tool Development, Vancouver Lower Mainland. CNPEA is receiving $685,000 for its pan-Canadian project, Discovery: Promising practices and successful strategies to prevent and address Elder Abuse in Canada.
CCEL is a national non-profit organization dedicated to exploring legal issues affecting older Canadians. Its project aims to equip local senior women with the tools and information needed to deal with issues they face and help them develop their community leadership skills. Seniors will participate in educational activities focusing on legal and policy issues that directly impact their lives. CCEL will recruit older immigrant women from vulnerable, marginalized and socially-disempowered communities to help develop resource tools such as publications and videos to address key social policy and legal issues concerning elder law. The project will be guided by a volunteer advisory committee of older women with expertise in gender equality and seniors' issues, including elder abuse and domestic violence.
To boost project outreach and scope and better connect with community seniors whose cultural backgrounds and life circumstances vary, CCEL will partner with a network of organizations, including West Coast Women's Legal Education and Action Fund, Richmond Women's Resource Centre, South Granville Seniors Centre and Downtown Eastside Women's Centre.
CNPEA's three-year project will build the capacity of elder abuse awareness networks and committees across Canada by developing new partnerships, gathering and synthesizing information in English and French and making that information more accessible for communities. CNPEA will work collaboratively with stakeholders to build a national online Knowledge Exchange Hub. The hub will link stakeholders, senior-serving organizations, seniors and their families, and the general public in each of the provinces and territories.
- Economic Action Plan 2014 recently increased funding for the NHSP by $5 million per year. 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 learning.
- In 2013, an NHSP call for proposals for pilot projects addressing social isolation of seniors and promoting intergenerational learning was launched. In May 2014, Minister of State Wong announced that 20 of these projects had been approved. An additional 4 projects have since been approved, for a total of 24 projects now underway and receiving $1.7 million in NHSP funding support.
- The Government of Canada website seniors.gc.ca provides seniors, their families and caregivers with important resources and information about elder abuse.
- The Government of Canada marked National Seniors Day on October 1 and joined Canadians in celebrating seniors and their collective contribution to Canada over the years. The Government of Canada launched the Government of Canada Action for Seniors report in September 2014. The report is a new information resource highlighting federal programs and services that can be accessed by seniors, their families and caregivers. It was created in collaboration with more than 22 federal departments and agencies. The report can be found on seniors.gc.ca.
"Our government is committed to helping preserve the well-being and security of Canadian seniors, and it continues to introduce new legislation and initiatives to combat elder abuse in all its forms. Our government is proud to work with organizations like the Canadian Centre for Elder Law and the Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse. These two projects exemplify how we continue to support the social participation and inclusion of seniors. Our government recognizes that seniors continue to contribute their skills and experience to communities and workplaces across Canada. Through initiatives like the NHSP, we are empowering seniors by supporting projects that help improve their well-being and quality of life."
– The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors)
"Responsive law and policy reform in the area of aging must reflect the needs of older women. This unique project gives a voice to older women from marginalized communities—women whose experiences have been hidden and ignored for a long time—and involves them in projects that take action on the issues they think are the most pressing. Funding from the Government of Canada's New Horizons for Seniors Program is making this innovative project possible."
– Krista James, National Director, Canadian Centre for Elder Law
"The volunteers behind the Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse have worked tirelessly over the last two decades to connect elder abuse stakeholders across the country. This is very challenging to accomplish without any financial resources. We are so grateful for this funding from the Government of Canada's New Horizons for Seniors Program, which is providing support to the Network to develop a national and bilingual web resource that will connect stakeholders both to each other and to key elder abuse resources to support practice."
– Sherry Baker, Management Team member, Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse Knowledge Sharing Project
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 such as 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 $750,000 in funding for up to three years.
Pilot project 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 sentencing purposes.
Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act
The Government of Canada also 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, will work 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 best practices.
Canadian Victims Bill of Rights
The Government of Canada 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 crime.
SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: Earl Maynard, Office of the Minister of State (Seniors), 613-716-5422; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, [email protected], Follow us on Twitter