GATINEAU, QC, Nov. 3, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), announced today the re-appointment of Mr. Hubert P. McGrath as member of the National Seniors Council (NSC).
The NSC was established to advise the Government of Canada on all matters related to the well-being and quality of life of seniors, including the opportunities and challenges arising from a rapidly growing and increasingly diverse population of seniors.
Mr. McGrath had a distinguished career of more than 30 years in education, working as a principal, a teacher and an administrator. He also brings to the Council extensive volunteer experience that includes serving as a founding member of a committee focused on the establishment of affordable housing for seniors. Mr. McGrath also acted as a trustee and executive member of the Avalon Health Care Institutions Board, and trustee of Newfoundland and Labrador's Eastern Regional Integrated Health Authority.
Mr. McGrath was first appointed to the National Seniors Council in December 2011.
- The NSC advises on matters related to the well-being and quality of life of seniors, including opportunities and challenges arising from a rapidly growing and increasingly diverse population of seniors.
- Since 2007, the NSC has undertaken work on elder abuse, the effects of low income among seniors, volunteerism, positive and active aging, as well as approaches to attracting older workers to the labour force and retaining them. Currently the Council is looking at how social isolation affects seniors and exploring ways to prevent and reduce social isolation of seniors in Canada.
"I am pleased to announce the re-appointment of Mr. Hubert P. McGrath as a member of the National Seniors Council. Mr. McGrath will continue to bring a wealth of expertise and experience to the Council on issues of importance to older Canadians."
– The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors)
The National Seniors Council (NSC)
The NSC advises on matters related to the well-being and quality of life of seniors, including the opportunities and challenges arising from Canada's rapidly growing and increasingly diverse population of seniors.
- The Council reports to the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, and to the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health. The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), is responsible for the day‑to‑day operations of the Council.
- NSC members include seniors, representatives of organizations that serve seniors and experts on seniors and aging.
- The Government of Canada established the NSC in 2007 to provide advice on the well-being of seniors, both now and in the future.
The Government of Canada is working hard to help improve the lives of seniors on many fronts. These efforts include:
- redeveloping seniors.gc.ca as a central resource for seniors, their families and caregivers, including new Information for Seniors and Information for Caregivers sections that bring together a variety of federal, provincial/territorial and some municipal resources about relevant programs and benefits;
- providing Canadians with an estimated $80 billion this year through Canada's public pension system;
- a top-up to the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) in 2011 to help Canada's most vulnerable seniors. This was the largest increase in 25 years to the GIS for the lowest-income seniors. This measure further improves the financial security and well-being of more than 680,000 seniors across Canada;
- providing $2.8 billion in 2014 in tax relief to seniors and pensioners through measures such as pension income splitting and increasing the Age Credit;
- providing $400 million over two years under Canada's Economic Action Plan for the construction of housing units for low-income seniors;
- securing voluntary agreements from Canada's eight major banks to improve low-cost and expand no-cost basic banking services to certain groups, including seniors who qualify for the GIS;
- increasing funding through Economic Action Plan 2014 for the New Horizons for Seniors Program (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;
- investing up to $1.4 million for 20 NHSP pilot projects that will address isolation of seniors and intergenerational learning;
- actions to address elder abuse, including awareness campaigns, projects funded by the NHSP to raise awareness of elder abuse and legislation to help ensure consistently tough penalties for offences involving the abuse of elderly people;
- supporting positive and active aging through the collaborative Age-Friendly Communities Initiative, Physical Activity Tips for Older Adults and falls-prevention initiatives;
- helping Canadians who are providing care to loved ones through the Family Caregivers Tax Credit, and Employment Insurance special benefits for those caring for a dying relative or a critically ill child; and
- launching the Canadian Employers for Caregivers Plan to find ways to better support employees who are balancing both work and caregiving responsibilities, and to help maximize caregivers' labour market participation.
SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: Earl Maynard, Office of the Minister of State (Seniors), 819-953-1144; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, [email protected]