News Release Article from  Employment and Social Development Canada

Government of Canada and National Seniors Council hold roundtable

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TORONTO, ONTARIO, October 14, 2010 - The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State (Seniors), addressed members of the National Seniors Council (NSC) as well as seniors' organizations and service providers who met in Toronto today to discuss issues related to an aging population.

The NSC was tasked in June to examine two areas that will be affected by the changing demographics: labour force participation among seniors and near seniors, and intergenerational relations.

"With the demographic shift that is upon us, we are faced with both opportunities and challenges, which must be addressed," said Minister of State Ablonczy. "The valuable insights provided by the National Seniors Council will help the federal government prepare for the reality of population change in Canada and across the globe."

Minister of State Ablonczy joined Mr. Jean-Guy Soulière, Chair of the Council, who facilitated the roundtable discussions. "What motivates seniors to remain in or return to the labour force is a question we will be asking during these roundtable discussions," explained Mr. Soulière. "We will also identify and examine potential challenges in relationships between the generations as a result of the aging population."

This roundtable is the second in a series of five cross-Canada roundtables on labour force participation and intergenerational relations. Since 2007, the NSC has undertaken work on elder abuse, low income among seniors, volunteering among seniors, and positive and active aging. As part of that work, the Council has convened roundtable meetings across Canada with seniors, seniors' organizations and other stakeholders. These roundtables present an opportunity for the Council to identify possible areas for action to support seniors. For more information on the Council, please visit www.seniorscouncil.gc.ca.

The Government of Canada is working hard to help improve the lives of seniors on many fronts. For more information on the Government of Canada's commitments to seniors and elder abuse awareness initiatives, visit www.seniors.gc.ca.

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This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

For further information (media only):

Heather Hume
Communications Advisor
Office of Minister of State Ablonczy
613-953-1363

Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
819-994-5559

Backgrounder

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

  • Providing Canadians with almost $70 billion annually through Canada's public pension system;
  • 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;
  • Providing $2.3 billion annually 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 through the Affordable Housing Initiative for the construction of housing units for low-income seniors;
  • Increasing funding to the New Horizons for Seniors Program in Budget 2010 by $5 million, bringing the program total to $40 million annually. The Program helps seniors use their leadership, energy and skills to benefit communities across Canada;
  • Supporting positive and active aging through the collaborative Age Friendly Communities Initiative, Canada's Physical Activity Guide to Healthy Active Living for Older Adults, and falls prevention initiatives; and
  • Creating the National Seniors Council in 2007 to provide advice to the federal government on matters related to the well-being and quality of life of seniors.
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