Parliament for 2013
Richmond Electoral District
Address by Honourable Alice Wong to the International Federation on Ageing at the 11th Global Conference on Ageing
Prague, Czech Republic – May 29, 2012
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I am delighted to be here today, on behalf of the Government of Canada, especially in Prague, a city so rich in history and culture.
Having said that, I would like to thank both Dr. Jane Barratt, Secretary General of the IFA, and Mr. Greg Shaw, IFA Director, for inviting me.
It’s also a privilege to be in the company of His Excellency, Petr Necas, Minister Jaromir Drábec, and distinguished colleagues Jan Lorman and Irene Hoskins.
The IFA, as you all know, is based in my home country of Canada, and as Canadians, we are familiar with, and inspired by, the good work you do.
As Minister of State for Seniors in Canada, I recognize that like many other countries, we face unprecedented demographic change, making this a unique time to be working on seniors’ issues.
Now, if you’ll indulge me for a moment, I would like to quickly touch upon a subject that has become quite close to my heart—elder abuse.
Yesterday, I opened a conference organized by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.
I am delighted to see the efforts made by other countries, such as yours, which are taking action to eliminate elder abuse. But more needs to be done. And I think a continued approach to raising awareness is an important first step to addressing this problem.
Getting back on track, during the IFA’s Senior Government Officials Meeting, I was pleased to learn how advances in long-term care and technology are helping to keep seniors active and safe in their homes.
Learning from one another is critical. And this is why I am here today—to learn from you and share best practices.
What we discover here will help seniors in our respective countries enjoy the best possible quality of life, and that is why this event is so important.
Let’s take this opportunity to reinvent the idea of the “golden years” in which one is still active and vital, and to make these years a time for creative development.
I wish you a successful conference.