Statement by Minister of State Wong on National Seniors Day

OTTAWA, Oct. 1, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State for Seniors, today issued the following statement in recognition of the third annual National Seniors Day:

"Our government is proud to pay tribute to the seniors who have helped build our country and continue to make valuable contributions to our communities, workplaces and families.

As the Canadian seniors population continues to grow, our government 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.

I encourage you to find your own unique way to celebrate the seniors in your life today. Perhaps make time to visit, or send a simple thank-you note to a senior you know, whether they be a family member, neighbour or friend.

However you choose to express your gratitude, the message that we value older Canadians will be heard and appreciated across the country.

Coinciding with the United Nations International Day of Older Persons on October 1, National Seniors Day in Canada provides an occasion for all of us to honour the seniors who enrich our lives."

For National Seniors Day celebration ideas, and for information about programs, services and benefits for seniors, visit www.seniors.gc.ca.


Backgrounder


The Government of Canada is working hard to help improve the lives of seniors on many fronts. These efforts include:

  • redeveloping seniors.gc.ca as a central resource for seniors including a new Information for Seniors section that brings together a variety of federal, provincial/territorial and municipal resources about relevant programs and benefits;

  • providing Canadians with close to $76 billion this year through Canada's public pension system;

  • a top-up to the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) in 2011 to help Canada's most vulnerable seniors. 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;

  • providing $2.7 billion in 2013 in tax relief to seniors and pensioners through measures such as pension income splitting and increasing the Age credit;

  • providing $400 million over two years under Canada's Economic Action Plan for the construction of housing units for low-income seniors;

  • making a strong investment in the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) through an annual budget of $45 million. Since 2006, the NHSP has funded more than 11 200 projects in hundreds of communities across Canada;

  • actions to address elder abuse, including awareness campaigns, projects funded by the New Horizons for Seniors Program to raise awareness of elder abuse and legislation to help ensure consistently tough penalties for offences involving the abuse of elderly people; and

  • supporting positive and active aging through the collaborative Age-Friendly Communities Initiative, Physical Activity Tips for Older Adults, and falls-prevention initiatives.


SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada



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