News Release Article from  Employment and Social Development Canada

Archived - Minister of State (Seniors) Announces New Priority for the National Seniors Council

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OTTAWA, ONTARIO, March 6, 2012— Today, the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), announced the National Seniors Council’s new priority for 2012: seeking employers’ views on how to retain and attract older workers specifically those who are most vulnerable.

“It is important that the Council speak to employers about their views on the challenges and opportunities of an aging workforce,” said Minister of State Wong.  “Input from the Council’s engagement activities will provide the Government of Canada with valuable information to help shape policies, programs and services that support older Canadians.”

Last year, the Council examined labour force participation of seniors and near-seniors, and intergenerational relations.  The work of the Council this year is expected to build on that momentum by talking to employers about the challenges and opportunities posed by an aging workforce and seeking best practices from employers in recruiting and retaining older workers.

The National Seniors Council advises the Government of Canada on current and emerging issues and opportunities related to the quality of life and well being of seniors, both now and in the future.

Since 2007, the Council has undertaken work on elder abuse, low income among seniors, volunteering among seniors, positive and active aging, labour force participation among seniors and near seniors, and intergenerational relations.

For more information on the Council, please visit

For more information on what the Government of Canada is doing for seniors, visit

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This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

For further information (media only):

Robert Lynch
Director, Communications
Office of Minister of State Wong

Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada


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. This is the largest increase in 25 years to the GIS, which assists the lowest-income seniors. The 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 the next five years;
  • increasing funding to the New Horizons for Seniors Program this fiscal year by $5 million per year, 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 $72 billion this year through Canada’s public pension system;
  • providing $2.3 billion annually in additional tax relief to seniors and pensioners through measures such as enabling 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;
  • 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;
  • establishing October 1 as National Seniors Day to recognize the significant and ongoing contributions seniors make to families, communities, workplaces and society; and
  • investing $13 million over three years in support of the Federal Elder Abuse Initiative (FEAI), which successfully concluded on March 31, 2011. Building on that momentum, the Government of Canada remains active in addressing elder abuse through the New Horizons for Seniors Program and the continuation of the elder-abuse awareness campaigns originally launched as part of the FEAI.

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