WINNIPEG, Nov. 28, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), joined by Lawrence Toet, Member of Parliament for Elmwood–Transcona, attended the launch of a new online course, Financial Abuse of Older Adults: Recognize, Review & Respond, which will help credit union staff to recognize financial abuse of older adults and know what to do if they suspect it is happening.
The Government of Canada's New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) funding of $350,000, provided to Good Neighbours Active Living Centre Inc., has given Prevent Elder Abuse Manitoba, Credit Union Central of Manitoba, Credit Union Central of Canada and CUSOURCE Credit Union Knowledge Network the opportunity to work collaboratively with the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada to develop this online course, which will be made available to all credit union employees across Canada.
The Government of Canada has made combatting elder abuse a priority and supports a range of measures to help protect seniors from all forms of abuse, including neglect. To raise awareness about elder abuse, the Government recognizes World Elder Abuse Awareness Day each year on June 15, creates activities and information resources and provides funding for elder abuse awareness projects through the NHSP. The Government has also introduced legislation, including the Protecting Canada's Seniors Act, which came into force in January 2013 and helps ensure consistently tough penalties for those who take advantage of seniors in Canada.
The Government of Canada remains committed to strengthening the financial literacy of Canadians. Most recently, the Government released the report Strengthening Seniors' Financial Literacy, the first phase of a comprehensive national strategy for financial literacy.
- To find out more about elder abuse prevention and recognition, as well as other resources for seniors, visit seniors.gc.ca.
- 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.
- Financial Literacy Month in November aims to promote the importance of financial literacy, which means having the knowledge, skills and confidence to make responsible financial decisions.
- Economic Action Plan 2013 committed to implementing a financial literacy strategy that specifically responds to seniors' needs.
"The Government of Canada's new financial literacy strategy for seniors will help older Canadians, their families and their caregivers make more informed financial decisions. Having the right information will help seniors to better protect themselves from the various forms of financial abuse. Our Government remains committed to helping prevent the financial abuse of Canadian seniors."
– The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors)
"Our Government is committed to helping preserve the well-being and security of Canadian seniors and continues to introduce new legislation and initiatives to combat elder abuse in all its forms. Innovative projects like this one will help improve the quality of life for seniors."
– Lawrence Toet, Member of Parliament for Elmwood–Transcona
"This year, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada launched a number of national consultations to better understand the issues Canadians face in managing their own financial affairs. Our consultations with seniors showed that financial abuse was a significant concern, so we congratulate Prevent Elder Abuse Manitoba and the credit union system for developing this program and feel it is fitting that the launch of a course designed to protect and assist senior Canadians marks the end of Financial Literacy Month 2014."
– Jane Rooney, Financial Literacy Leader
"The opportunity to develop a course to educate credit union staff in Canada about the role they can play to address financial elder abuse and the resources available to support them would not be possible without the funding we received from the Government of Canada's New Horizons for Seniors Program. Today's launch of Financial Abuse of Older Adults: Recognize, Review & Respond is a significant achievement for Prevent Elder Abuse Manitoba, the credit union system and our provincial and federal governments. We look forward to continuing these partnerships as we unveil community presentations in 2015 that will provide senior Canadians with information to help them identify and protect themselves against financial abuse."
– Dara Maternick, Prevent Elder Abuse Manitoba
- Funding: New Horizons for Seniors Program
- Financial Literacy Month 2014
- Strengthening Seniors' Financial Literacy
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 receiving up to $100,000 in federal funding over a maximum of 24 months, 50 percent of which is being 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 allow banks and other organizations to notify officials or a client's next of kin if they suspect that a senior is the victim of financial abuse.
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];