Parliament for 2013
Richmond Electoral District
Toronto, Ontario, September 30, 2012—The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), spoke on the eve of Canada’s National Seniors Day at the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto (CCCGT) and highlighted New Horizons for Seniors Program funding to the organization.
The Government of Canada officially established National Seniors Day to recognize seniors and all of the valuable contributions they have made and continue to make in communities, workplaces and families.
“The Government of Canada is proud to pay tribute to seniors and remains committed to supporting their well-being,” said Minister of State Wong. “We believe their well-being depends on their staying active, staying engaged and staying informed.”
The CCCGT received $25,000 in community-based project funding under the New Horizons for Seniors Program to provide educational sessions for Chinese-Canadian seniors to learn more about health issues and to encourage them to stay active.
People looking for ideas to celebrate the seniors in their lives, or who wish to learn more about National Seniors Day and/or programs and services for seniors, are encouraged to visit www.seniors.gc.ca.
The Government of Canada is working hard to help improve the lives of seniors on many fronts. These efforts include:
* introducing a new Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) top-up benefit to help Canada’s most vulnerable seniors in 2011. This was the largest increase in 25 years to the GIS, for the lowest-income seniors. This measure further improves the financial security and well-being of more than 680 000 seniors across Canada. It represents an investment of $1.5 billion over five years;
* increasing funding to the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) in Budget 2011 by $5 million, bringing the Program’s annual budget to $45 million. The Program helps seniors use their leadership abilities, energy and skills to benefit communities across Canada;
* providing Canadians with close to $76 billion this year through Canada’s public pension system;
* providing $2.5 billion in additional tax relief to seniors and pensioners through measures such as enabling pension income splitting and increasing the Age credit in 2012–2013;
* providing $400 million over two years under Canada’s Economic Action Plan for the construction of housing units for low-income seniors;
* supporting positive and active aging through the collaborative Age-Friendly Communities Initiative, Physical Activity Tips for Older Adults and falls-prevention initiatives;
* appointing a Minister of State (Seniors)—someone who can bring the concerns of older Canadians to the Cabinet table and stand up on their behalf;
* ongoing actions to address elder abuse, which include: awareness campaigns; the NHSP, which funds projects to raise awareness of elder abuse; and recently proposed legislation that would help ensure consistently tough penalties for offences involving the abuse of elderly persons; and
* developing seniors.gc.ca as a central resource for Government of Canada information relating to seniors and seniors’ initiatives.