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“We can address the isolation of seniors through social innovation”

Posted in Talking Politics


Published on May 15, 2015 with No Comments

• 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.

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.
“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,”said Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors)
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.


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