GATINEAU, QC, Dec. 22, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - As 2014 comes to an end, the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), reflected on some of the key achievements of the Government of Canada in supporting and promoting seniors' well-being and in encouraging seniors to stay active, engaged and informed.
This year, Minister Wong unveiled the first ever Government of Canada Action for Seniors report, highlighting federal programs and services across the federal government that can be accessed by seniors, their families, and caregivers.
Additionally this summer, Minister Wong launched the Canadian Employers for Caregivers Plan which included establishing of the Employer Panel for Caregivers, as well as a new portal on seniors.gc.ca which provides in-depth information specifically for caregivers. The Government of Canada also provides support for caregivers through the Family Caregiver Tax Credit, and the Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefit.
In October, Minister Wong co-chaired the 16th meeting of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors, where ministers committed to share information and best practices, and to work collaboratively as champions of seniors' issues. This year, Ministers agreed to work on innovative solutions to combat social isolation among seniors, as well as to develop ways to increase caregiver readiness.
The Government of Canada continued to make combating elder abuse, including financial abuse, a priority through a variety of actions such as funding for elder abuse awareness projects.
The Government remains committed to strengthening the financial literacy of Canadians and in November, the Honourable Kevin Sorenson, Minister of State (Finance) released the report Strengthening Seniors' Financial Literacy after working collaboratively with Minister Wong throughout the year. In addition, an improved user friendly Canadian Retirement Income Calculator now provides retirement income estimates in a matter of minutes.
In September, Minister Wong participated in the G7 Global Dementia Legacy Event in Ottawa, where international leaders gathered to discuss Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, which represent a growing health challenge for Canada and other global partners.
Last month, the National Seniors Council released its Report on the Social Isolation of Seniors - 2013-2014. The report presents consultation findings and innovative practices to help address social isolation. Earlier this fall, the Government of Canada approved 24 New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) pilot projects—representing an investment of more than $1.7 million—aimed at addressing seniors' social isolation.
Moving forward, the Government remains committed to improving the well-being and quality of life of seniors. Areas of priority for the Minister will continue to include reducing social isolation, improving seniors' access to information and helping Canadians who are balancing work and caregiving responsibilities.
For more information on what the Government of Canada is doing for seniors, please visit seniors.gc.ca.
- Since 2006, the Government supported seniors through: introducing pension income splitting, increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement, investing in the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers and increasing funding to community-based projects for seniors.
- Economic Action Plan 2014 increased funding for the NHSP by $5 million per year, in addition to the $45 million provided on an ongoing basis. Since 2006, the New Horizons for Seniors Program (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 Budget 2014, the Government of Canada committed to launch the Canadian Employers for Caregivers Plan to engage with employers on cost-effective workplace solutions to help maximize caregivers' labour force participation.
"I am very proud of the work we've done over the past year to help seniors maintain a high quality of life and remain active members of their communities. We will continue to support seniors and their families. I invite you to visit seniors.gc.ca and read our new report Government of Canada: Action for Seniors to find out more about the scope of benefits, services and opportunities available to seniors."
– The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors)
SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada
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