Information for Seniors
Parliament for 2014
Richmond Electoral District
Strengthening Seniors’ Financial Literacy is the first phase of a comprehensive national strategy for financial literacy
October 16, 2014 – Winnipeg, Manitoba – Financial Consumer Agency of Canada
Canada’s Minister of State (Finance) Kevin Sorenson and Canada’s first Financial Literacy Leader Jane Rooney today announced the release of the National Strategy for Financial Literacy, Phase 1: Strengthening Seniors’ Financial Literacy.
In Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government committed to implementing a financial literacy strategy that specifically responds to seniors’ needs. Strengthening Seniors’ Financial Literacy, which has been refined through consultation with Canadians and stakeholder organizations involved in financial literacy, responds to that commitment and is the first component of the national strategy for financial literacy for all Canadians.
The seniors’ strategy establishes goals and objectives that will require collaboration among public, private and non-profit organizations across Canada. Supported by members of the National Steering Committee on Financial Literacy, Canada’s Financial Literacy Leader, Jane Rooney, will oversee and coordinate implementation of the seniors’ strategy as a component of the wider national strategy for financial literacy.
Beginning today, Minister Sorenson and Jane Rooney will also begin consultations on Phase 2 of the national strategy on financial literacy which will focus on the unique needs of low-income Canadians, Canadians with disabilities, newcomers to Canada and Aboriginal peoples.
- The 2009 Canadian Financial Capability Survey shows that financial literacy skills among seniors are lower overall compared to other groups of Canadians.
- In 2011, an estimated 5 million people were 65 or older. That number is expected to double by 2036, reaching about 10.4 million seniors.
- The National Strategy for Financial Literacy is expected to be released in 2015, following consultations on Phase 3, which includes children, youth and adults.
“This comprehensive strategy will help Canadian seniors ensure they have the knowledge and tools needed to navigate an increasingly complex financial marketplace. I look forward to seeing the collaborative effort of public, private and non-profit sector groups that will enable seniors to improve their own personal finances, strengthening the economy as a whole.”
—Kevin Sorenson, Minister of State (Finance)
“The strategy demonstrates our Government’s concern for the well-being of seniors, who face unique financial challenges and require a broad base of support to ensure they can make confident and informed decisions on financial matters. I was very pleased to participate in the public consultations in June, which saw substantial and valuable feedback from individuals and groups representing seniors across Canada.”
—Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors)
“The public consultations have resulted in a strategy that addresses the diverse range of financial literacy issues facing Canadians as they move through their senior years. A broad range of organizations have stepped forward to participate in the work of developing this strategy that will help improve the financial literacy of Canada’s senior population.”
—Jane Rooney, Financial Literacy Leader
- News release: Government of Canada announces members of Canada’s National Steering Committee on Financial Literacy
- News release: Consultation begins on a national financial literacy strategy
- Backgrounder: Toward a National Strategy for Financial Literacy – Phase 1: Strengthening Seniors’ Financial Literacy
- Final Report of the Task Force on Financial Literacy
- Information for seniors (seniors.gc.ca)
- Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (itpaystoknow.gc.ca)
October 3, 2014 – Richmond, British Columbia – Western Economic Diversification Canada
Today, the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State for Seniors, and Member of Parliament for Richmond, on behalf of the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, announced $85,300 in federal funding to the City of Richmond, under the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund (CIIF) in support of infrastructure upgrades to the Gateway Theatre.
The investment allowed the Gateway Theatre to retrofit its heating system by installing a wastewater heat recovery system, and replacing the boiler. These upgrades increased energy efficiency, and reduced the theatre’s operating costs.
In Economic Action Plan 2012, the Government of Canada announced further support to help communities across the country modernize their infrastructure. The Government committed $150 million over two years for the Fund. CIIF supported projects that aimed to improve existing community infrastructure accessible for use by the public, such as community centres, recreational buildings, local arenas, and further community and cultural facilities.
- The Gateway Theatre is Metro Vancouver’s second largest theatre company.
- The theatre’s main stage hosts four annual productions.
“Our Government is pleased to announce its support for the City of Richmond’s Gateway Theatre. By modernizing the Theatre, we are ensuring that it continues to provide a tremendous benefit to community through performances and programming for years to come.”
- The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State for Seniors, and Member of Parliament for Richmond
“The City of Richmond is strongly committed to being a sustainable community, which includes reducing our environmental footprint through reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and use of alternative energy sources. Innovations such as sewage heat recovery at Gateway Theatre, along with our award-winning district energy program are helping us to meet our goals and create a healthier environment today and for the future.”
- His Worship Malcolm Brodie, Mayor of Richmond
“The Gateway Theatre is committed to raising the quality of life in Richmond through live performing arts. We thank Western Economic Diversification Canada and the City of Richmond for helping us to pursue our mission by installing an innovative and environmentally responsible heat recovery system.”
- Jovanni Sy, Artistic Director, Gateway Theatre
Minister Wong celebrates National Seniors Day as Canada gets one of top rankings worldwide on well-being of seniors
October 1, 2014 – Ottawa, Ontario – Employment and Social Development Canada
Canadians across the country are celebrating National Seniors Day today to show their appreciation and to honour the seniors who have made a difference in their lives and in their communities.
To help mark the day, the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State for Seniors, along with representatives from HelpAge, visited the Good Companions Seniors’ Centre to release the Global AgeWatch Index 2014 report and announce Canada’s worldwide standing in the measure of seniors’ well-being.
HelpAge created the Global AgeWatch Index to monitor the economic and social well-being of older adults worldwide and give governments a benchmark by which to help measure the success of their efforts for seniors. This year, Canada’s ranking has increased from 5th to 4th out of the 96 countries measured.
As the Canadian seniors population continues to grow, the Government of Canada remains committed to improving the well-being and quality of life of older Canadians through tax relief, improved services and by increasing available information and resources.
Coinciding with the United Nations’ International Day of Older Persons on October 1, National Seniors Day in Canada provides an occasion for all Canadians to honour the seniors who enrich their lives.
- Since 2006, the Government has continued to support seniors across Canada by providing assistance in areas needed most including: 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.
- The Government has also taken steps to protect Canada’s most vulnerable seniors from elder abuse and financial abuse.
- In September, the Government of Canada released the Government of Canada Action for Seniors report, a comprehensive information resource highlighting federal programs and services that can be accessed by seniors, their families and caregivers.
- For tips and resources on celebrating the day and honouring the seniors in your life as well as information about programs, services and benefits for seniors, visit www.seniors.gc.ca.
- Join the new Seniors in Canada Facebook page today and post stories and photos of celebrations in your community. Tell us about a #senior in your life! #thinkingofyou.
“National Seniors Day is a time for Canadians all across the country to stop and pay tribute to the special seniors in their lives. So many seniors, including grandparents, parents, other family and friends, play such an important role in the lives of Canadians every day. I encourage everyone to reach out to a senior who has made a difference in their life and let them know how special they are to you. Our government will continue to ensure that Canada’s seniors continue to receive the support they need and deserve.”
– The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors)” Aging is quickly changing our world, especially in developed countries such as Canada. There is no doubt that in many ways our seniors fare better than elsewhere. However, on a daily basis, older Canadians still face important issues, from access to services to social isolation. We need to work together to address these issues—they impact us all.”
– Jacques Bertrand, Executive Director, HelpAge Canada ” The Good Companions is happy to celebrate National Seniors Day again this year. As one of Ottawa’s largest seniors’ centres, we are dedicated to promoting, enhancing and supporting the zest for living, well-being and independence of older adults as well as adults with physical disabilities.”
– Jacques Bertrand, Executive Director, HelpAge Canada
Seniors in Canada (Facebook)
On September 16, 2014, Alice Wong spoke in the House of Commons during Question Period on the topic of Finance. The following is a transcript:
Mrs. Tilly O’Neill Gordon (Miramichi, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, our government is proud to have lowered taxes, putting thousands of dollars directly back into the pockets of Canadian families. However, yesterday the leader of the Liberal Party criticized income splitting and said he would reverse it. I know that the seniors in my riding will be outraged when they find out that the Liberal leader would reverse our income splitting, forcing them to pay more.
Could the Minister of State for Seniors explain how reversing income splitting would affect seniors?
Hon. Alice Wong (Minister of State (Seniors), CPC):
Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader should explain why he has threatened to reverse income splitting and force seniors and families to pay more tax. This type of Liberal arrogance toward middle-class Canadian families and seniors is all too familiar. This is the same party that opposed the universal child care benefit because it thought parents would spend it on beer and popcorn. This is the same party that opposed every tax cut and measure our government has introduced for families and seniors, measures that are saving $3,400 this year for average families and have taken nearly 400,000 seniors off the tax rolls completely.
Experts from industry and academia share innovative ideas to better support people living with dementia, their families, and caregivers
September 12, 2014 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Institutes of Health Research
The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), delivered closing remarks at the Canada-France Global Dementia Legacy Event, which concluded today after a productive two-day discussion in Ottawa. The international event brought together 200 experts from the research and industry sectors, health charities, patients, and caregivers, as well as government leaders including the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Canada’s Minister of Health, Mr. Phillipe Zeller, Ambassador of France to Canada, and Dr. Dennis Gillings, World Dementia Envoy.
As noted by Minister Wong, the social and economic impacts of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are profound. However, the longstanding partnership between Canada and France is creating synergies, removing barriers, and building momentum in the global effort to develop treatments and find cures.
The event was the second in a series of four events stemming from the Dementia Summit held in London, UK, in December 2013. Through expert panel discussions, delegates set the path forward for the development of new approaches to partnerships and collaboration between industry and academia, and identified practical and creative solutions to better support those living with dementia, and their families. A synthesis of the event discussions and proposals will be available within a month, while being shared with the Global Action Against Dementia and the World Dementia Council.
The Canada-France Global Legacy Event was organized by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the French National Alliance for Life Sciences and Healthcare (Aviesan), with financial support from Rx&D (Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies), Industry Canada, Ontario Brain Institute, and the Weston Brain Institute.
- As part of the Legacy Event, Minister Ambrose announced a series of new initiatives and investments highlighting the Government of Canada’s commitment to tackling dementia including: the launch of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging; a commitment to bring the successful Dementia Friends program to Canada; a new partnership to support transformative dementia research; the release of the national dementia research and prevention plan publication; and the release of Mapping Connections: An Understanding of Neurological Conditions in Canada.
- Canada plays a key role in the international goal to find a cure or disease modifying treatment for dementia by 2025, and to improve the quality of life for individuals living with dementia, and their caregivers.
- The next Global Dementia Legacy Events will be hosted by Japan in fall 2014, and the United States in winter 2015, followed by a wrap up session in March 2015.
“For people with dementia, routine tasks such as shopping for groceries or taking a bus to a medical appointment can be extremely challenging. Our government, in collaboration with colleagues from G7 countries and partners in Canada and abroad, is committed to defeating this devastating condition through increased research, prevention and public education. The ideas generated from the Canada-France event will help address the day-to-day challenges that people living with dementia and their families and caregivers face.”
– The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health
“The Government of Canada recognizes the significant impacts that dementia and other neurological diseases place on individuals and caregivers. Through our support for caregivers, we recognize the important contribution of Canadians who are providing care and support to their families and friends.”
– The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors)
“This meeting demonstrated that, for dementia as well as for all the great human challenges of our time, sharing objectives and resources between research and industry is the critical path to success.”
– Mr. Philippe Zeller, Ambassador of France to Canada
“There are 44 million people with dementia around the world and yet just three drugs have been developed in over 15 years. That is not enough. It is clear to me that academia industry collaboration on dementia research is a vital component of that action. Through hosting this second legacy event, Canada and France have shown great leadership in this area, shining a light on many examples of excellent research collaboration and partnership, inspiring other countries to follow their lead and bringing hope to millions impacted by this life shattering disease. I very much welcome the Canadian government’s new package of dementia measures announced today, particularly the launch of the CCNA which could become a collaborative model for others.”
– Dr. Dennis Gillings, World Dementia Envoy
“With this Legacy Event, we have now proposed and explored a number of possible solutions to address an extremely complex challenge. We have heard the voices, expertise and experience both from industry and academia already working to reduce barriers, but also from stakeholders in other related fields. I am highly optimistic of the prospects for change. After all, barriers are meant to be struck down.”
– Dr. Alain Beaudet, President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research
“To cure dementias by 2025, we need to develop innovative strategies to transfer complex biology to new therapeutic targets. Discussions in the last two days were outstanding and very inspiring. Several new avenues to strengthen collaborations between academic and industry sectors were discussed. We have to transform these proposals in concrete actions. We are more than ever convinced that the fight against dementia require a global commitment.”
– Prof. Yves Lévy, CEO, French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm), and Chairman of Aviesan, the French National Alliance for Life Sciences and Healthcare
- Canada-France Global Legacy Event
- Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging
- Mapping Connections: An Understanding of Neurological Conditions in Canada
- Canadian Employers for Caregivers Plan
- Global Action Against Dementia
Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
Minister of the Health
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
To request an interview with the World Dementia Envoy, or another member of the World Dementia Council
0044 777 963 9460
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada’s health research investment agency. CIHR’s mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened health care system for Canadians. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 13,200 health researchers and trainees across Canada.
September 10, 2014 – Hamilton, Ontario – Employment and Social Development Canada
The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State for Seniors, unveiled today the new Government of Canada Action for Seniors report, a comprehensive information resource highlighting federal programs and services that can be accessed by seniors, their families, and caregivers.
Minister Wong made the announcement with officials who developed McMaster University’s Optimal Aging Portal, a website that offers information about healthy aging and which can now be accessed through the Government of Canada’s seniors.gc.ca website.
The Action for Seniors report provides an overview of the many programs and resources available for seniors, ranging from help to combat elder abuse to government support such as ensuring seniors’ financial security. More than 22 federal departments and agencies collaborated to create the report, which reflects the interdisciplinary nature of seniors’ issues that cut across the various departments and agencies. Providing information for seniors on programs and resources is a priority for the Government of Canada. Minister of State Wong welcomed the placement of a link to the McMaster portal on the seniors.gc.ca website, where the report can also be found.
The seniors.gc.ca website is a central resource for seniors, their families, their caregivers and supporting service organizations. The site provides information for seniors on federal, provincial, territorial and some municipal government benefits and services, including information on finances, housing, health and wellness, through an interactive map. The website also highlights federal seniors-related initiatives and supports the government’s efforts to encourage seniors to stay active, engaged and informed.
- The Government is committed to supporting and promoting seniors’ health, well-being and contributions by encouraging seniors to stay active, engaged and informed.
- The Government of Canada Action for Seniors report contains information about services and benefits that that can be accessed by seniors, their families, and caregivers.
- Today, 1 in 7 Canadians is aged 65 or over. By 2036, nearly 1 in 4 Canadians will be a senior.
- Over the last decade in Canada, life expectancy at age 65 increased by 2 years, approximately twice the rate of growth observed over each of the previous decades since 1929.
“Our Government is committed to helping seniors maintain a high quality of life and remain active members of their communities. I invite you to visit seniors.gc.ca and read our new report Government of Canada: Action for Seniors to find out more about what the Government of Canada is doing for seniors and their families.”
– The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors)“Having the Government of Canada Action for Seniors report available online as well as in print is important to ensure that it is quickly accessible to all. -We know Canadian seniors are technologically savvy, so this excellent report puts information about all the federal services and resources for seniors at their fingertips, such as our McMaster Optimal Aging Portal, which provides easy-access, evidence-based health information.”
– Patrick Deane, President and Vice-Chancellor McMaster University
Canada’s support is addressing immediate needs of thousands of conflict-affected people on Mindanao Island
August 10, 2014 – Vancouver, British Columbia – Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
Today, the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State for Seniors, on behalf of the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, announced funding for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for the provision of humanitarian assistance to thousands of conflict-affected women and children on Mindanao island in the Philippines.
Following decades of ongoing conflict on Mindanao, new violence in September 2013 in Zamboanga City displaced thousands of families.
“The many women and children affected by conflict are at increased risk of disease, malnutrition and danger, including child trafficking and gender-based violence,” said Minister Wong. “Canada is helping to change that by providing funding to UNICEF for activities that are addressing immediate needs, such as access to safe drinking water, improved sanitation and hygiene, and improved nutrition.”
“Children in Mindanao live in difficult conditions imposed by a conflict for which they are not responsible” said Meg French, UNICEF Canada’s Director of International Policy and Programs. “The generosity of the Government of Canada will help children and families gain better access to safe drinking water and better nutrition, and they will benefit from child-friendly spaces where they can regain a sense of normalcy in their lives and have a safe place to play.”
“Canada proudly reaffirms its commitment to save lives, alleviate suffering and maintain the dignity of those who are affected by ongoing conflict,” said Minister Paradis. “Canada remains committed to assisting the Filipino people and building on our strong relations with the Philippines.”
Minister Wong announced the funding at Pinoy Fiesta in Vancouver, the largest Filipino cultural event in Canada.
- On June 28, 2014, Canada announced funding for the International Organization of Migration (IOM) to provide humanitarian assistance to conflict-affected people in Mindanao.
- On June 20, 2014, Canada announced funding for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to provide humanitarian assistance to refugees and vulnerable populations around the world, including funds allocated to conflict-affected people in Mindanao.
- In 2014, Canada confirmed the Philippines as a new country of focus for the Government of Canada’s international development efforts.
- Backgrounder – Canada providing support to UNICEF in Mindanao
- Speech – Address by Alice Wong, Member of Parliament for Richmond and Minister of State for Seniors, to announce funding for UNICEF in the Philippines
- Canada’s work in the Philippines
- Canada’s response to Typhoon Haiyan
- Canada’s Leadership: Maternal, Newborn and Child Health
Office of the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie
You are cordially invited to Alice Wong’s Annual Community BBQ.
Come and join Alice for her free Annual Summer BBQ Lunch:
Saturday, August 16 from 12 – 3 PM
West Richmond Community Center Plaza near Hugh Boyd Park (On No. 1 Rd near Francis Rd)
Enjoy a fun-filled afternoon with free food, live music by The Road Crew, and entertainment for your whole family!
Questions? Contact the Constituency Office at 604-775-5790 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following is a transcript:
Hi, I’m Alice Wong, your Member of Parliament for Richmond and Minister of State for Seniors. On July 1st, Canadians from coast to coast to coast will come together to commemorate the birth of our great nation as Canada celebrates its 147th birthday. With our rich history, vast natural and cultural heritage, strong values and sense of purpose, there is so much to be proud of. As Canadians, we are truly fortunate to call Canada home. This Canada day, I hope you join me in celebrating by attending one of the many events that are happening in our community. Happy Canada Day.
June 23, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario – Employment and Social Development
The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), announced the launch of the Canadian Employers for Caregivers Plan (CECP) at the first meeting of its newly-established Employer Panel for Caregivers.
In Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government of Canada committed to work with employers on finding cost-effective workplace practices to help informal caregivers participate as fully as possible in the labour market. The Canadian Employers for Caregivers Plan includes the establishment of the Employer Panel for Caregivers, the development of business cases analyzing the cost-benefit of existing various workplace supports and the exploration of mechanisms for sustained employer engagement in this area.
Many employed Canadians also provide informal care to their aging parent, friend, or spouse. Yet, the demands of caregiving can create many challenges in the workplace such as conflicting working hours and flexibility required for emergencies.
The Employer Panel for Caregivers is comprised of industry leaders from small, medium and large-sized businesses, as well as expert advisors on caregiving. They will consult with employers across Canada to help identify successful and promising workplace practices that support caregivers who are balancing their work responsibilities with caring for a loved one ensuring a stronger workforce and more prosperous economy.
- The Panel is chaired by Kim Forgues (Home Depot Canada), and includes Panel members:
o Lucie Chagnon (Median Solutions)
o Rachelle Gagnon (Assumption Life Insurance)
- o Sharene Herdman (Johnson & Johnson Inc. Canada)
o Caterina Sanders (Habanero Consulting Group)
o Stephen Shea (Ernst and Young LLP) .
- Expert advisors to the Panel are:
o Vickie Cammack (Founder, Tyze Personal Networks)
o Janice Keefe (Nova Scotia Centre on Aging, Mount Saint Vincent University).
- 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, etc.
“There are currently 6.1 million employed Canadians who are providing care to a family member or friend. Our government will work with employers through the Canadian Employers for Caregivers Plan to help identify cost-effective solutions to support employed caregivers, helping them achieve a better balance of work and caring responsibilities.”
– The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors)“Our government’s top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. That’s why this initiative builds on existing federal measures that include a range of tax credits for caregivers, the Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefit and other federal benefits.”
– The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors)“Having cared for a loved one, I know first-hand how overwhelming it can be to balance the needs of work and family. As Chair of the Employer Panel for Caregivers, I’m looking forward to reporting back to the Government on workplace supports that could help reduce the stress on informal caregivers.”
– Kim Forgues, Chair of Employer Panel for Caregivers
Office of the Minister of State (Seniors)
Quick Facts about Informal Caregivers
- 8 million Canadians aged 15+ provided unpaid care to a chronically ill, disabled or elderly family member or friend in 2012
- Approximately 70 percent of all caregivers are caring for a senior, compared to 19 percent who care for someone aged 45–64; 10 percent for someone aged 18–44; and 3 percent for someone under the age of 18;
- 17 percent (1.4 million) of all caregivers provide 15 hours or more of care per week (high-intensity caregivers);
- 75 percent (6.1 million) of all caregivers are employed, representing an estimated 35 percent of all employed Canadians.
- The majority of caregivers (56 percent) are aged 45+; the majority of employed caregivers (60 percent) are also aged 45+.
Canadians balancing employment and informal caregiving face labour market challenges.
Informal caregivers are people aged 15 and over who provide unpaid care to a family member or friend with a long-term health problem or a physical or mental disability, or with problems related to aging. Informal caregiving does not include child care or parenting or care for people with minor short-term illnesses such as colds or flu. For example, informal caregiving could include caring for an elderly mother who has Alzheimer’s, or a spouse with a chronic disease such as cancer, or a son with developmental delays.
In the context of an aging society, the demand for care is expected to increase. Presently, it is estimated that the total replacement cost for unpaid care is approximately $24 billion annually. The demand for care of seniors alone is projected to nearly double by 2031.
Many informal caregivers struggle to balance their work and care responsibilities, resulting in potentially negative employment consequences. For example, in 2012, nearly 600,000 employed caregivers indicated that they had reduced their regular working hours over the past 12 months, while about 160,000 caregivers turned down paid employment during the previous year due to caregiving. Likewise, approximately 390,000 caregivers indicated that they had to quit their job at some point in their career in order to provide care.
Beyond the costs to individuals in terms of lost wages or benefits, the negative employment consequences of informal care also impact employers. The Conference Board of Canada estimates that informal caregiving costs employers $1.28 billion annually in lost productivity as a result of caregivers missing work, quitting or losing their jobs.
Evidence suggests that work-life balance initiatives can help decrease the negative consequences of caregiving to caregivers and employers. For example, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that flexible working arrangements, including telework, job-sharing, and flexible work hours, could strengthen the labour force attachment of employed caregivers. Leading firms such as British Telecom have achieved increased productivity and cost-savings by implementing flexible working arrangements and absentee rates have decreased drastically.
Government of Canada Action
In Economic Action Plan 2014, The Road to Balance: Creating Jobs and Opportunities, the Government of Canada committed to work with employers on finding cost-effective workplace practices to help informal caregivers participate as fully as possible in the labour market.
On June 23, 2014, the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), announced the launch of the Canadian Employers for Caregivers Plan (CECP) at the first meeting of its Employer Panel for Caregivers. The Employer Panel for Caregivers, comprised of industry leaders from small, medium and large-sized businesses, as well as expert advisors on caregiving, will consult with employers across Canada to identify successful and promising workplace practices that support informal caregivers who are balancing their work responsibilities with caring for a loved one.
The Panel aims to increase awareness of employed caregivers and the challenges they face, identify workplace practices that benefit employers and caregivers alike, and share best practices among all employers.
Kim Forgues (Home Depot Canada)
Lucie Chagnon (Median Solutions)
Rachelle Gagnon (Assumption Life Insurance)
Sharene Herdman (Johnson & Johnson Inc. Canada)
Caterina Sanders (Habanero Consulting Group)
Stephen Shea (Ernst and Young LLP)
Expert advisors to the Panel
Vickie Cammack (Founder, Tyze Personal Networks)
Janice Keefe (Nova Scotia Centre on Aging, Mount Saint Vincent University)
Panel members’ biographies