Information for Seniors
Parliament for 2014/2015
Richmond Electoral District
January 20, 2015– Toronto, Ontario – Employment and Social Development Canada
The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), announced today the release of the Employer Panel for Caregivers’ report called When Work and Caregiving Collide – How Employers Can Support their Employees Who Are Caregivers. The report highlights best workplace practices that many employers offer to their employees who provide informal care to family and friends, and it includes a toolbox of valuable information and resources for employers.
The Minister, together with the Panel Chair, Stephen Shea, and Panel members, made the announcement the day before the 2015 Human Resources Professionals Association Annual Conference, which is taking place January 21 to 23 in Toronto.
Following Economic Action Plan 2014, the Minister launched the Canadian Employers for Caregivers Plan and established the Employer Panel for Caregivers to consult with employers on workplace practices that support the needs of employees caring for a loved one. The Panel consulted over 100 employers from across Canada before releasing its findings and insights contained in the report.
Helping employees balance work with their caregiving responsibilities will have a positive impact on the Canadian economy by decreasing costs, such as impact on job performance, absenteeism and productivity, for their employers.
- There are currently 6.1 million employed Canadians, or 35 percent of our workforce, providing care to a family member or friend.
- According to the Conference Board of Canada, the annual cost of lost productivity to Canadian employers is $1.3 billion.
- Informal caregiving refers to unpaid care provided to a family member or friend due to chronic or long-term illness, disability or aging and does not include short-term care for minor illnesses such as colds or flu, or everyday caring for children.
- In addition to the creation of the Canadian Employers for Caregivers Plan, the Government of Canada offers unpaid family caregivers a variety of supports, including tax credits such as the Family Caregiver Tax Credit, targeted measures for specific populations (i.e. veterans and military forces), the Information for Caregivers portal on the seniors.gc.ca website and funding for research and community-based initiatives.
“I would like to thank the Employer Panel for Caregivers for their comprehensive report providing employers with best practices, tools and resources to support their employees who are balancing both work and caregiving. Supporting a flexible workplace benefits both the employee and the employer by increasing productivity and reducing absenteeism. Through the Canadian Employers for Caregivers Plan, our Government is committed to helping employees participate in the workforce and care for their loved ones.”
– The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors)
“On behalf of the Employer Panel for Caregivers, I would like to say it was a pleasure to engage and consult with employers on a topic which presents unique circumstances for both employers and employees. We are hoping this report can help to raise awareness of this issue and that the information and tools provided in the report can assist small, medium and large-sized organizations to better support the growing number of employees balancing work and caregiving.”
– Stephen Shea, Chair of the Employer Panel for Caregivers
Office of the Minister of State (Seniors)
The Employer Panel for Caregivers is comprised of industry leaders from small, medium and large-sized businesses, as well as expert advisors on caregiving. The Panel consulted with over 100 employers from across Canada. During these consultations, employers identified promising workplace practices that support the needs of working caregivers to help them balance the competing demands of caregiving while working, such as conflicting working hours, lack of flexibility and lost wages or benefits.
Many caregivers struggle to balance their work and care responsibilities, resulting in negative employment consequences. For example, in 2012:
- nearly 600,000 employee caregivers indicated in the General Social Survey that they reduced their regular working hours over the past 12 months;
- approximately 1.6 million employee caregivers took leave from work over the prior year;
- about 160,000 caregivers turned down paid employment during the past year due to caregiving; and
- approximately 390,000 caregivers indicated that they had to leave their job at some point in their career in order to provide care.
The Canadian Employers for Caregivers Plan also includes the development of business cases analyzing the cost-benefit of existing workplace supports and the exploration of mechanisms for sustained employer engagement in this area.
The Panel’s members
The Employer Panel for Caregivers includes the following members and expert advisors:
Stephen Shea (Ernst and Young LLP)
Lucie Chagnon (Median Solutions)
Rachelle Gagnon (Assumption Life Insurance)
Shannon MacDonald (Johnson & Johnson Inc. Canada)
Karen Ritchie (Home Depot Canada)
Caterina Sanders (Habanero Consulting Group)
Vickie Cammack (Founder, Tyze Personal Networks)
Janice Keefe (Nova Scotia Centre on Aging, Mount Saint Vincent University)
The Panel’s report is available on seniors.gc.ca. Additional information and resources for caregivers are provided on the Information for Caregivers portal on the site.
Minister of State Wong announces new research network to help Canadian seniors live independently and safely
Toronto-based AGE-WELL network will look to new technology for better senior care
January 19, 2015 – Toronto, Ontario – Industry Canada
Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), on behalf of her colleague, the Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), today announced that AGE-WELL, a new network, is receiving $36.6 million over five years to help seniors live independently and safely at home.
Through a collaborative approach with industry partners, not-for-profit organizations and researchers, AGE-WELL will identify the needs of seniors and find ways to reduce the burden on their caregivers. The network will use advanced technology such as mobile communications, smart sensors and robotics to help achieve this goal. AGE-WELL will contribute to increasing the independence and quality of life of older Canadians while creating more affordable technologies that meet Canadians’ needs.
Today’s investment is the result of the most recent competition in the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program. The competition resulted in four new networks receiving funding, which includes AGE-WELL, and one existing network being renewed for a second five-year term.
NCEs mobilize a critical mass of expertise from across the country, bringing together health, natural and social scientists as well as engineers. Partners from industry, government and the not-for-profit sector contribute additional expertise and support.
- On December 15, 2014, the Government of Canada named five research networks to conduct groundbreaking research that is focused on addressing major social, economic, or health- and life sciences–related issues:
- Aging Gracefully across Environments using Technology to Support Wellness, Engagement, and Long Life—AGE-WELL (Toronto, Ontario)
- Biotherapeutics for Cancer Treatment—BioCanRX (Ottawa, Ontario)
- Canadian Glycomics Network—GlycoNet (Edmonton, Alberta)
- Canadian Arrhythmia Network—CANet (London, Ontario)
- NeuroDevNet (Vancouver, British Columbia)
- With these new grants, the Networks of Centres of Excellence program currently funds 14 networks.
- Recently, Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered on the government’s commitment to provide an updated science, technology and innovation strategy. The strategy, Seizing Canada’s Moment, is a vision and a road map for strengthening Canada’s position as a global leader in scientific research while looking to harness greater Canadian innovations that create jobs, increase prosperity and improve the quality of life of Canadians.
“Through our updated science, technology and innovation strategy, our government is making the necessary investments to push the boundaries of knowledge, create jobs and prosperity, and improve the quality of life of Canadians. The newest Networks of Centres of Excellence will undertake research in the important areas of biochemistry, cancer, arrhythmia, aging and brain development, leveraging nationwide talent and resources to tackle social and economic challenges that are important to Canadians.”
– Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology)
“Our government is committed to investing in world-class research networks, including AGE-WELL, which will develop new technologies to help seniors live independently and safely at home. These investments will improve the quality of life of Canadians and contribute to the creation of a stronger, more innovative economy and a more prosperous Canada.”
– Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors)
“AGE-WELL will join the impressive lineup of NCEs that are already helping drive innovation in Canada by bringing together the brightest researchers and a wide range of partners. This new network offers a great opportunity for top researchers in aging to explore how we can use technology to improve the quality of life of seniors.”
– Michel Perron, Vice-President, External Affairs and Business Development, Canadian Institutes of Health Research
“We need new tools, devices and solutions in the marketplace that will help older adults remain at home in their later years. AGE-WELL represents a cohesive approach to developing those tools and to establishing Canada as a leader in designing and implementing technology that contributes significantly to the well-being of older people and caregivers.”
– Alex Mihailidis, Joint Scientific Director, AGE-WELL
“AGE-WELL will work closely with end-users—older people and caregivers—industry partners, not-for-profit organizations and the country’s top researchers and research institutions, including Simon Fraser University and our friends at Toronto Rehab. We will identify the needs of aging people and develop solutions to help them live more independently and safely at home while reducing the burden on their caregivers.”
– Andrew Sixsmith, Joint Scientific Director, AGE-WELL
Residents of Vancouver contributed their views to pre-budget consultations
January 16, 2015 – Vancouver, British Columbia
The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors) and Member of Parliament for Richmond, today hosted one of a series of cross-country pre-budget roundtable discussions. The purpose of these consultations is to listen to Canadians and hear their views on how Canada can create jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity. This formal process comes after months of meetings with Canadians about what matters to them and their families.
Finance Minister Joe Oliver launched these consultations November 27 with a clear message. First, the Government will not engage in reckless new spending or new taxes that will lead Canada down a path of fiscal deficits and economic decline. Second, the Government will remain focused on creating jobs and growth.
All Canadians will be able to participate through online consultations. The Government is seeking the input of Canadians on five key questions that can be found by clicking on the following link: http://www.fin.gc.ca/news-nouvelles/nr-nc/2014/prebudget-prebudgetaire-eng.asp.
- Under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, our Government’s top priority is creating jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity.
- We are on track to balance the federal budget in 2015.
- With balanced budgets in sight, the Harper Government is delivering close to $27 billion in tax relief for hard-working families over this year and the next five years, by:
o Increasing and expanding the Universal Child Care Benefit
o Introducing the Family Tax Cut
o Increasing the Child Care Expense Deduction dollar limits
- Canada’s Economic Action Plan is working:
o Since the depths of the recession, we have created more than 1.2 million net new jobs—overwhelmingly full-time, good-paying jobs in the private sector.
o The overall federal tax burden is at its lowest level in over 50 years.
o Bloomberg ranks Canada the second most attractive place in the world to do business.
“Today’s roundtable is part of a larger series of consultations that will inform future Government policy and help our government create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity, while ensuring the best use of taxpayers’ money. I’m particularly interested in hearing about how the Government can better support seniors in maintaining a high quality of life and continuing to be active members of their communities.”
– The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), Member of Parliament for Richmond.
January 16, 2015– Vancouver, British Columbia – Employment and Social Development Canada
The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), today announced the launch of a new initiative to work with community organizations to ensure seniors receive their retirement benefits.
Minister Wong renewed the Government of Canada’s commitment to reach the most vulnerable seniors, such as those who are incapable of managing their own affairs while they are homeless or at risk of being homeless. The Government is undertaking targeted efforts, by working with community organizations, to increase their capacity to assist these seniors and ensure they receive the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS) benefits for which they are eligible. These seniors can now receive their CPP or OAS benefits through an appropriate community organization, including non-profit or charitable organizations, and municipalities.
The announcement was made at Vancouver’s Union Gospel Mission, which provides outreach services to vulnerable residents. Services include emergency shelter, meals, education and job preparation, affordable housing and preventative programs to build healthy families.
- The Government of Canada is committed to the well-being of Canada’s seniors by working with all levels of government, seniors’ organizations and stakeholders to develop policies and programs to support seniors.
- The OAS program and the CPP enhance the quality of life of Canadian seniors by providing a modest base upon which to build additional income for retirement.
- The OAS program is funded through general tax revenues and provides a basic monthly income for Canadian seniors. In 2013–14, approximately $41.8 billion in OAS benefits were provided to 5.4 million individuals.
- The CPP (or the Quebec Pension Plan in Quebec) is funded through contributions by Canadian workers, their employers and the self-employed and through investment earnings on the Plan’s funds. In addition to retirement benefits, the Plan provides disability, death, survivor and children’s benefits.
“The Government of Canada is dedicated to reaching seniors to ensure they receive the CPP and OAS benefits for which they are eligible. We are working with other levels of government, communities and organizations to help the most vulnerable seniors, particularly those who are not able to manage their own affairs while they are homeless or at risk of being homeless.”
– The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors)
“In light of the growing number of homeless and vulnerable seniors in our community, this announcement couldn’t come at a better time. We are pleased that the Government of Canada has not only recognized this troubling problem, but that it has taken strategic action. Union Gospel Mission helps hundreds of seniors each year, dozens of whom had barriers to accessing pensions and disability funding; this initiative will enable additional organizations to more widely and effectively assist one of Canada’s most cherished resources—our seniors.”
– Dan Russell, Director of Programs, Union Gospel Mission
”This is a really valuable tool to help front-line organizations ensure vulnerable seniors can access critical financial resources. Being able to access Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security benefits can make all the difference in the world to a low-income senior.”
– Tim Richter, President & CEO, Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness
December 22, 2014 – Gatineau, Quebec – Employment and Social Development Canada
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)
The following is a transcript:
Hello, I’m Alice Wong, Member of Parliament for Richmond and Minister of State for Seniors. On behalf of myself and my husband Enoch, I wish you all a pleasant and joyful holiday season. Whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah or any other religious event, may your festivities be an occasion for great happiness for you and your family. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Government of Canada announces support for the Richmond Olympic Experience
December 17, 2014 – Richmond, British Columbia – Department of Canadian Heritage
The City of Richmond will benefit from a contribution of $500,000 through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund to support the purchase of specialized equipment for a new museum, known as the Richmond Olympic Experience (ROX), to be housed within the Richmond Olympic Oval.
This funding will allow the City of Richmond to purchase large-scale, custom-designed display units with specific security and environmental controls, as well as professional lighting systems for the museum and the museum’s theatre.
The ROX will act as a permanent legacy of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. It will tell the story of the history of sport in Richmond and its role during the Games, while educating visitors about the Olympic and Paralympic movement.
This investment was announced today by the Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, and the Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, Minister of National Revenue and Member of Parliament (Delta–Richmond East).
- When the ROX officially opens in the spring of 2015, it will be the only North American member of the Olympic Museums Network.
- The museum will have 15,000 square feet of exhibition space over three floors, featuring permanent and temporary displays, interactive media, and hands-on sporting simulations. These will highlight the history of sport in Richmond, the history of the international Olympic and Paralympic movement, and Canada’s unique achievements and contributions at the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
- The Richmond Olympic Oval was used for long track speed skating during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, and has since been converted to a multi-use fitness and community centre.
- The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund seeks to improve physical conditions for artistic creativity and arts presentation or exhibition. It is also designed to increase access for Canadians to performing arts, visual arts, media arts, museum collections, and heritage displays.
“As a major partner in the 2010 Winter Games, the Government of Canada committed to creating enduring legacies for all Canadians to enjoy—legacies like the Richmond Olympic Oval, which has become an important public gathering place in the Lower Mainland. Our Government is proud to continue enhancing these legacies by investing in the Richmond Olympic Experience.”
—The Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages
“The City of Richmond has demonstrated superb vision and leadership in its efforts to bring the Richmond Olympic Experience to residents and visitors. With sport simulators and multimedia galleries, this interactive exhibit is sure to be a treat for the senses. I am looking forward to visiting the exhibit in spring 2015.”
—The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, Minister of National Revenue and Member of Parliament (Delta–Richmond East)
“The City of Richmond’s journey from coastal community to Olympic venue city boasts many inspiring stories. Now visitors from across the country and around the world will be able to relive the excitement and passion of the 2010 Winter Games and more through the Richmond Olympic Experience. We are pleased to be a partner in the success of this dynamic and innovative project.”
—The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors) and Member of Parliament (Richmond)
“The Richmond Olympic Experience will inform, entertain and inspire visitors as we celebrate the Olympic and Paralympic spirit, rekindle the excitement of hosting the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Canada and showcase Richmond’s proud sport history. From priceless artifacts to fun, state -of-the art sport simulators, the ROX is destined to become a popular attraction for both residents and visitors, creating new legacies of the 2010 Games for Richmond and Canada.”
—His Worship Malcolm Brodie, Mayor, City of Richmond
December 5, 2014 – Gatineau, Quebec – Employment and Social Development Canada
The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), today marked International Volunteer Day by recognizing the millions of Canadians who give generously of their time to help others.
International Volunteer Day was established by the United Nations (UN) on December 17, 1985, in order to shine a light on the importance of volunteers and their socio-economic contributions. The UN invites governments to observe every December 5 as International Volunteer Day to raise awareness and encourage people from all walks of life to donate their time and skills.
The Government of Canada supports volunteers, businesses and not-for-profit organizations through investments by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), the lead department on volunteerism. Under ESDC, initiatives are put forward through the Social Development Partnerships Program and New Horizons for Seniors Program. As a result, communities across the country are able to improve the lives of families and fund projects that involve seniors, enabling them to play an important role as volunteers or leaders in local activities.
A number of other federal departments, such as the Canada Revenue Agency, Parks Canada and Heritage Canada, run programs that rely on the dedication of volunteers, who keep our country vibrant.
The Government of Canada also recognizes exceptional volunteers through the delivery of the Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards. The Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards program consists of 17 awards in total: 2 at the national level and 15 at the regional level. Awards are presented to volunteers, innovative not-for-profit organizations and forward thinking businesses that have made outstanding contributions to communities from coast to coast to coast. For more information on the Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards, visit www.pm.gc.ca/awards.
- Each year, over 13 million Canadians volunteer over 2 billion hours of their time and effort for others.
- The value of volunteers’ time in Canada is equivalent to 1.1 million full-time jobs annually.
- Thirty-six percent of seniors perform volunteer work, with volunteers over 65 contributing about 223 hours a year, compared to the national average of 156 hours .
“International Volunteer Day is an opportunity to thank those who generously give of their time, resources and expertise. Many seniors are active and engaged in their community, often through volunteering. This special day highlights the impact of their efforts and contributions within Canada and around the world.”
– The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors)
Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards website: www.pm.gc.ca/awards
Minister Wong marks the end of Financial Literacy Month by highlighting the importance of financial literacy for seniors
November 28, 2014– Winnipeg, Manitoba – Employment and Social Development Canada
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
On November 25, 2014, Alice Wong spoke in the House of Commons during Question Period on the topic of Seniors. The following is a transcript:
Mr. Bruce Hyer (Thunder Bay—Superior North, GP):
Mr. Speaker, veterans and all seniors in Thunder Bay—Superior North are worried. My constituent, Louise Fisher, laments that, “Nothing is being done federally to ensure that quality services are available across Canada for our seniors.” For example, we have declining health care services and a lack of in-home support for our seniors.
When will the minister ensure that all of Canada’s seniors are respected and supported?
Hon. Alice Wong (Minister of State (Seniors), CPC):
Mr. Speaker, we have been promoting healthy, active aging by encouraging seniors to stay engaged and informed. We have information for seniors and their families, which is easy to access, to help seniors stay engaged in their communities.
It is our government that brought in the largest GIS increase in a quarter century, and the opposition voted against it. While we work to ensure the well-being of our seniors, the opposition continues to let seniors down and would take away money from seniors.