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Minister of State (Seniors) highlights approach to address social isolation of seniors in Canada

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Minister of State (Seniors) highlights approach to address social isolation of seniors in Canada

Published on May 11, 2015 with No Comments

May 8, 2015– Calgary, Alberta – Employment and Social Development Canada
The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), highlighted the Government of Canada’s work to tackle issues facing seniors in Canada in a speech delivered at the Korean Canadian Seniors Conference. In her remarks, Minister Wong highlighted the re-aligning of a number of programs and activities to address the issue of social isolation of seniors—a growing issue that can have substantial impact on seniors’ lives.
A call for proposals (CFP) for pan-Canadian projects funded through the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) will be launched on May 29, 2015. Using collaborative partnership approaches and with an emphasis on results, pan-Canadian projects funded through this call will be focusing on the reduction and prevention of social isolation of seniors.
The annual CFP for community-based projects under the NHSP will be launched on the same day.
Other activities include the recent report published by the National Seniors Council, and their ongoing work which includes a focus on examining ways to encourage local communities to reach out to socially isolated seniors. The social isolation of seniors is also one of the priorities to be examined this year by the Forum of Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors.
Minister Wong also discussed how the Government is providing over $2.8 billion in annual tax relief to seniors and pensioners, implementing pension income splitting and introducing the new Home Accessibility Tax Credit for seniors and persons with disabilities to help with the costs of ensuring their homes remain safe, secure and accessible. These changes to income security programs have given older Canadians more choice and flexibility in regards to life, work and retirement.
To help families prosper, the Government is also enhancing the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB), introducing the Family Tax Cut and making improvements to the Child Care Expenses Deduction and the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit. The UCCB would increase to up to $1,920 per year for children under the age of 6, and parents would receive a benefit of up to $720 per year for each child aged 6 through 17. The proposed enhancements to the UCCB would provide $160 per month for each child under the age of 6 and $60 per month for each child aged 6 through 17.
Quick Facts
• The Government of Canada is committed to supporting and promoting seniors’ health, well-being and contributions by encouraging them to stay active, engaged and informed.
• In September, the Government of Canada released the Government of Canada Action for Seniors report, a comprehensive information resource highlighting federal programs and services, which can be accessed by seniors, their families and caregivers at Canada.ca/Seniors.
• Today, 1 in 7 Canadians is aged 65 or over. By 2036, nearly 1 in 4 Canadians will be a senior.
Quotes
“Social isolation affects seniors’ economic, social, physical and mental well-being. It is an issue that is both pervasive and difficult to resolve. But it is also preventable. I am confident we can address the isolation of seniors through social innovation. Social innovation succeeds by combining resources from governments, businesses, community organizations and academics to generate new ideas and tools that address social problems in new ways.”
– The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors)
“Seniors from all over Canada are participating in the Korean Canadian Seniors Conference to discuss the well-being of Korean Canadian seniors, their integration into Canadian society, and how they can help themselves and the next generation of Korean Canadians. We would like to thank Minister Wong for joining us today to speak about some of the issues facing seniors in Canada, like social isolation, and some of the ways these issues are being addressed.”
– Joe Cho, Coordinator/Chair of the Korean Canadian Seniors Conference
Associated Links
Canada.ca/Seniors
National Seniors Council
New Horizons for Seniors Program
Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors Forum
Tax Measures
Backgrounder on new measures: Helping Families Prosper
Contacts
Justin Wood
Office of the Minister of State (Seniors)
613-852-3761
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-994-5559
media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca
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Backgrounder

The National Seniors Council
The National Seniors Council (NSC) advises on 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 seniors population.
• The Council reports to the Minister of Employment and Social Development and the 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/or experts on seniors and aging.
The Government of Canada established the NSC in 2007 to provide advice on the overall well-being of seniors, both now and in the future.
For more information, visit Canada.ca/Seniors.
New Horizons for Seniors Program
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 Projects
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. Over 1,850 projects were approved through the NHSP 2014–2015 call for proposals for community-based projects. The next such call will be launched on May 29, 2015.
Pan-Canadian Projects
Using collaborative partnership approaches and with an emphasis on results, pan-Canadian projects funded through the 2015–2016 call for proposals to be launched May 29, 2015, will be focusing on the reduction and prevention of social isolation of seniors. Successful projects will be up to three years in duration and valued up to $750,000.
Pilot Projects
Pilot project funding provides support to help address seniors’ isolation by establishing better social support networks and resources and initiating community intervention. It also supports intergenerational learning projects that help seniors develop new interests and share their knowledge and experience with others. In 2014, these pilot projects began to address social isolation and 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 Canada.ca/Seniors.
Forum of Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors
The Forum of Federal/Provincial/Territorial (F/P/T) Ministers Responsible for Seniors was established in 1992 by F/P/T governments to advance issues of common concern. The forum focuses on concrete, collaborative projects and actions that will have an impact on the lives of seniors. The Ministers meet regularly to discuss issues of importance to seniors and to share information on seniors’ well-being from their respective jurisdictions.
For more information on the Forum, visit http://www.seniors.gc.ca/eng/working/fptf/index.shtml.
Also available online: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?mthd=index&crtr.page=1&nid=971729

 

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