Welcome letter to the Minister of Seniors – 2021

Dear Minister Khera:

We would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). Please accept our congratulations on your appointment as the Minister of Seniors. We look forward to working with you to serve Canadians, support them through recovery and advance government priorities.

You are joining the Department during a period of uncertainty for the country as we look to emerge from the pandemic and accelerate efforts on economic growth, all while continuing to support Canadians. As Deputy Ministers of ESDC, we are at your disposal as your primary source of non partisan advice and professional expertise on issues that fall under your responsibility. We are your principal point of contact, providing a gateway into the Department and supporting you at every step of the policy development cycle. We will also be responsible for implementing the ambitious agenda set out in your platform.

You have responsibilities for one of the largest departments within the Government of Canada. ESDC covers 3 portfolios: Employment and Social Development, Service Canada, and the Labour Program. With over 35,000 public servants, 74% of whom work outside of the National Capital Region, and the vast majority currently working remotely, the Department’s operations touch the lives of Canadians at every stage of life, across the entire country.

In 2019-2020, the Department delivered $135.2 billion in direct benefits to Canadians, including $1.7 billion in grants and contributions funding across more than 30 programs. This represented 6.15% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In 2020–2021, departmental spending increased dramatically to support Canadians through the COVID-19 pandemic. ESDC provided $92.1 billion in emergency funding alone through a series of measures, including the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, the Canada Emergency Student Benefit, the Canada recovery benefits, and the one time payment for seniors, among others

We look forward to providing you with in depth briefings on files requiring your attention in the short and medium term. These briefings, which will be tailored to support your specific interests and priorities, will help inform the decisions you will need to make to implement your platform commitments, previous priorities, as well as priorities that are a part of normal departmental business.

To prepare you for these discussions, this letter provides you with our preliminary analysis of your platform commitments and initial advice on how we can implement your agenda. We have also set out below an overview of the operational context, your key responsibilities as Minister of Seniors, some early decisions we will be seeking from you, as well as other items you may wish to consider .

Your role and responsibilities

As Minister of Seniors, your key responsibility is to enhance the well being and quality of life of Canadian seniors.

Within the ESDC portfolio, working with the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, you will lead efforts to enhance a range of income support programs, such as the Old Age Security (OAS), including the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). At the same time, you are directly responsible for the New Horizons for Seniors and Aging Well at Home.

In this capacity, you may be called upon to work horizontally with other Ministers who are responsible for many of the programs that could help to advance the Government’s agenda for seniors such as combating elder abuse, increasing the availability and safety of home care and long term care.

Other areas of responsibility and support to other Ministers’ mandates are included in your mandate letter.

A. ESDC at a glance

Your briefing package highlights the breadth of our mandate, from setting up an education savings plan for a newborn to receiving a pension from the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).

The Department is either directly responsible for delivering these programs or works with key partners, such as the provinces and territories, other Government of Canada departments and the voluntary and non profit sector, to ensure Canadians have the social and economic supports they need. Some of ESDC’s programs focus on systemically disadvantaged populations to address inequalities and reduce participation gaps in the economy and in society. Given the nature of its mandate, ESDC is one of the few government departments at the crossroads of most social and economic policies.

ESDC is also a pillar of the Government’s service and benefit delivery infrastructure. Service Canada provides services and information to communities across the country and plays an essential role in reaching all Canadians regardless of where they live. The Department also delivers benefits to communities more broadly, through funding programs for community organizations that provide local solutions to Canada’s social challenges.

Finally, the Labour Program promotes a fair, safe, healthy and productive work environment through workplace legislation and regulations. The Labour Program is under the responsibility of the Minister of Labour.

Your briefing package includes infographics that depict the context you will be working in and the major issues relevant to our Department, including a number of those touched on below.

B. Canada’s economic and social landscape

Economic recovery

Prior to COVID 19, the Canadian labour market was performing well. Although Canada and other developed countries were experiencing slow economic growth (annual GDP growth at 2%, lower than historic trends), the labour market was creating new jobs at an impressive pace and the unemployment rate was near an all time low. At the same time, many employers were reporting shortages of skilled workers.

In less than 8 weeks, COVID 19 shifted Canada’s economy and labour market dramatically from a position of strength to weakness. By April 2020, 3 million Canadians had lost their jobs and another 2.5 million saw their work hours significantly reduced. Canada’s GDP saw its largest contraction in recent history, leaving few industries unscathed. Small businesses were hit particularly hard with over 40% of them reporting losing more than 20% of their revenue compared to the previous year.

Close contact businesses, such as retail, restaurants, and performing arts, witnessed even more severe revenue losses. These industries employ women, young people and racialized persons in greater proportion than the rest of the economy. As a result, those Canadians who faced labour market barriers before the pandemic have been more severely impacted.

Despite this major contraction, the Canadian economy has shown resilience and economic forecasts for continued growth are promising. As of September 2021, employment was back to pre pandemic levels (19.1 million). However, there were still 1.4 million Canadians who were unemployed, an increase of 276,000 relative to pre pandemic levels. Economic uncertainty is still a concern as Canada is facing many potential challenges, including a new wave of COVID 19 currently driven by the Delta variant, supply chain disruptions to production and consumption of goods in Canada, and shifting consumer demand, for instance increased use of e commerce, which requires enterprises to revise their business models.

The unusual nature of this current economic slowdown, driven by public health restrictions on economic activity rather than broader macroeconomic forces, means that a full recovery in many sectors will likely occur more quickly than would be typical. Canada could quickly pivot in the short term from elevated unemployment levels to low unemployment and labour shortages in many sectors and industries.

In fact, the labour market is already rapidly tightening in some sectors, and employers are finding it challenging to hire workers. Some of these challenges can be attributed to the fact that the economy is still in a period of adjustment, as a number of sectors reopened during the summer, and the process of matching available jobs with qualified workers is not an immediate one. Furthermore, recovery is likely to occur in an uneven manner across regions, and also across sectors. For example, hospitality, tourism and the arts continue to be constrained by public health measures. Finally, Canadians facing pre pandemic barriers and in precarious or impacted sectors risk falling further behind during the recovery period.

Changing nature of work and skills

Many of the trends that were putting pressure on the labour market prior to the pandemic (for example, technology, globalization and climate change) are likely to either continue or accelerate. The pandemic has hastened the trend towards automation, as many employers found themselves with reduced and unpredictable access to workers. The risk of automation related job transformation in Canada is higher for several groups of the population, including low skilled workers (individuals without post secondary credentials) and older workers, who are over represented in roles that are routine in nature and vulnerable to automation.

Certain populations, such as Indigenous peoples, are at greater risk of being left further behind in the future labour market. Nearly two thirds of jobs held by Indigenous workers are facing a skills overhaul, as data, robotics and advanced technologies drive transformational change in sectors that many Indigenous peoples depend on for work (for example, construction, retail and agriculture). The global shift towards low carbon economies will also mean that certain roles are either eliminated, changed or created as new opportunities in clean energy emerge.

The trend towards jobs requiring higher skills is projected to continue in the future. From 2019 to 2028, about 75% of employment growth is expected to be in high skill occupations. Growth in high skilled employment has outpaced growth in low skilled employment in the industrialized world over the past 30 years. Moreover, 45% of Canadians do not have the literacy and numeracy skill levels required to perform well in the majority of jobs.

There is strong evidence that investments in training improve work attachment and earnings outcomes, and reduce dependence on government income support, such as Employment Insurance (EI) benefits and social assistance. Canada has one of the most educated workforces in the world and is above the Organisation for Economic Co operation and Development average with respect to participation in adult education and training. However, Canada does not invest as much as peer jurisdictions in training as a share of GDP.

The cost of training or lack of time because of work and family responsibilities impede some Canadians from pursuing learning and training activities and adapting to the changing skill needs of the labour market. Moreover, those who receive the least amount of training tend to be those who face the greatest employment challenges (for example, low paid or low skilled).

Canada’s labour force

In recent decades, a relatively youthful demographic distribution and increased labour force participation (principally driven by more women entering the workforce) have been significant drivers of economic growth. However, Canada, along with many industrialized countries, has an aging population. An increasing number of older Canadians have remained in, or have returned to, the labour force in recent decades. The share of workers aged 55 and over among all workers has doubled over the last 20 years (22.1% of all workers in 2020 compared to 26% in 2017). For seniors over 65 years, there has been a rise in labour force participation from 6% in 2000 to 13.8% in 2020. Nevertheless, Canada’s aging population will put downward pressure on labour force participation.

The coming decades will see labour force shortages and skills mismatches combine to act as a drag on productivity and economic growth. Upskilling and reskilling workers, increasing skilled immigration intake, growing the number of new graduates and increasing labour market inclusion of under represented groups, such as persons with disabilities, youth, older workers, visible minorities and Indigenous peoples, will be essential to addressing labour shortages and driving growth across the country. Fostering greater labour market inclusion of women continues to represent an opportunity to generate economic growth. In 2019, the labour force participation rate of women (61.3%) was 8.8% less than men (70.1%). This represents 1.4 million women (aged 15 or over) who could potentially join the labour force if their participation rate matched that of men.

Women with young children in the labour force were among those hardest hit by COVID 19. When schools and child care centres closed during the first wave of the pandemic, the employment of women with young children dropped. While employment among these mothers initially showed some recovery toward the end of 2020 with the gradual re opening of the economy, schools, and child care centres, employment levels fell again as strict public health measures were re imposed to fight subsequent waves of the pandemic.

As of August 2021, employment recovery of women with young children is still lagging. Employment among women with toddlers or school aged children fell 7% between February and May 2020 compared to a decline of 4% among fathers of children the same age. Single mothers were even more significantly impacted, with employment among this cohort down 12% from February to June 2020 compared to a 7% decline among single fathers. Despite absorbing 51% of job losses in March and April of 2020, women accounted for just 45% of job gains in May and June as economic activity restarted. The pandemic has pushed women's participation in the labour force down to its lowest level in 3 decades.

Women’s participation in the labour force seems to be highly influenced by access to affordable, high quality child care. In 2020, the employment rate was the highest in Quebec (77%), which has a low fee, high quality early learning and child care system, but was lower in Alberta (66%), Ontario and British Columbia (67%) and Saskatchewan (68%), where access to high quality and affordable child care is more limited.

The pandemic has also underscored gaps in public income support for many Canadians, including uneven coverage across the country for many part time workers, as well as no coverage for job loss for self employed workers, including gig workers. The EI program was not designed to account for the realities of today’s labour market and workforce, where a significant proportion of Canadians are engaged in non traditional forms of employment and work arrangements.

In 2019, approximately 37% of the Canadian workforce was in non standard forms of employment (for example, temporary, part time or self employed with no employees). Temporary emergency measures, such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, were introduced to support these workers during the pandemic.

Economic and social inclusion

It is likely that recovery from COVID 19 will continue to accentuate gaps and inequalities in employment, education and society for many Canadians (for example, people from low income communities, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, Black and racialized persons and seniors). These barriers act as a drag on economic growth, as well as increase spending on social services and lost tax revenue.

Aging Population

There are just under 7 million people over the age of 65 in Canada, representing 18% of the population. By the end of the 2030s, close to one quarter of Canadians will be 65 years of age or older. The share of Canadians aged 75 and older is expected to rise even faster, from 7.6% of the population in 2020 to 12.5% by 2036—a 65% projected increase. As indicated above, Canada’s aging population is expected to not only limit the size of the labour force growth, but also highlight additional factors related to economic and social inclusion.

Compared to previous generations, Canada’s seniors are living longer and healthier, as well as working and volunteering at higher rates, which in turn contributes to improved quality of life, stronger social networks and reduced likelihood of social isolation.

However, the pandemic has had significant impacts on seniors. While seniors already faced major social and health risks, such as physical injuries, dementia, social isolation and elder abuse, they have also had the highest rates of hospitalization and deaths due to COVID 19. Quarantine measures have also adversely affected seniors by causing further social isolation. The impacts are particularly severe for seniors in long term care facilities.

The proportion of seniors living below the poverty line declined from 7% in 2015 to 5.4% in 2019. This was the lowest rate among socio economic groups in Canada and is one of the lowest levels of poverty for seniors among all Organisation for Economic Co operation and Development countries. From 2015 to 2019, there were 45,000 fewer seniors living in poverty, with single seniors accounting for most of the drop. Nevertheless, women living alone, recent immigrants and persons with disabilities who are also seniors continue to have higher poverty rates relative to other population groups in Canada.

Federal programs, such as the Old Age Security (OAS) pension, the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) (in Quebec, the Quebec Pension Plan), provincial and territorial income supplements, along with workplace pension plans and personal savings, have provided seniors with the financial supports to meet their basic needs and reduce their risk of living in poverty. OAS and GIS benefits represent approximately 65% of after tax income for seniors in the lowest income group, compared to only 8% for those in the highest income group. While data on Indigenous seniors is still limited, it does indicate that Indigenous seniors living off reserve are more likely to be low income than other Canadians (39.2% of Indigenous seniors collect GIS compared to 28.6% in the entire population). The Department is working with Indigenous Services Canada and others to improve our understanding of the income situation of Indigenous seniors.

While seniors are working longer, living longer also means that individuals will require more savings to fund a longer retirement period, increasing the risk of outliving their financial resources. The Government has strengthened the retirement income system through different measures, including the enhancement of the CPP by gradually increasing the income replacement rate, and the provision of a one time payment of $500 in August 2021 as part of the commitment to increasing OAS for seniors 75 and older. This will help offset a decline in private pension coverage and do more to help seniors avoid poverty.

Seniors’ financial situation is also heavily influenced by ownership of assets. Seventy nine% of households headed by seniors own their own home, which contributes to lower poverty rates for that group. For the 19% of seniors’ households that rent housing, 17% are in poverty. While most seniors in Canada are aging in their home, 7% live in a collective dwelling like a residence or long term care facility, with the latter housing close to 200,000 seniors.

Persons with Disabilities

In 2017, persons with disabilities made up 22% of the Canadian population, while the disability rate for seniors was reported at 38%. This proportion is only expected to increase with an aging population, chronic conditions and changing attitudes towards self identification of disabilities.

Persons with disabilities report similar levels of apprenticeship and trade education compared to the general population and are more likely to have a college, CEGEP or other non university certificate or diploma.

Nevertheless, before the pandemic, working age persons with disabilities were twice as likely to be living in poverty as the general population. Working age Canadians with disabilities (25 64) are much less likely to be participating in employment (59.3%) than Canadians without disabilities (80.1%) and also have significantly lower median employment income than other Canadians. At the same time, the situation of most poor working age Canadians with disabilities tends to improve significantly once they reach 65 years and transfer onto federal benefits (from 21% for working age with disabilities to 9% for persons with disabilities 65 years and older).

Health, social and economic outcomes worsened for persons with disabilities during the pandemic. The pandemic has affected employment and creates additional financial pressures for persons with disabilities, with a third reporting a temporary or permanent job loss or loss of income. Almost half of persons with disabilities report worse overall health compared to before COVID 19, which is even higher for visible minorities with a disability. This may be due to factors such as requiring close human interaction for support, having underlying health conditions, or being more likely to be hospitalized.

Youth

Overall, young Canadians are increasingly educated, connected and diverse. The employment rate for youth (15 24 year olds) in 2019 was among the highest in the world, while post secondary education enrolment for youth remains robust (1.5 million students) and has increased by 3.8% from 2019 2020 to 2020 2021. While the cost of post secondary education is rising, student debt has remained stable for over a decade, in fact, in real dollars, the average Canada Student Loan debt has declined 11% since 2009.

Nevertheless, many young people face challenges making successful transitions from school to work and gaps remain in educational outcomes. Youth from under represented groups, including Indigenous peoples, immigrants, racialized persons and persons with disabilities, have relatively higher unemployment rates. Under represented youth also have disproportionately higher high school dropout rates and lower post secondary education attainment rates.

There is uncertainty regarding the impact of the pandemic on the educational and employment outcomes for youth, who might be faced with long term economic exclusion and scarring that reduces their earnings potential and career opportunities. Impacts of past recessions have had lasting effects on the economic prosperity of youth. Impacts are likely to be more severe and longer term for those young people who were already struggling before the pandemic. For example, youth with disabilities were impacted earlier, more severely and for longer than those without disabilities in the recessions of the 1990s and of the 2000s.

Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous peoples face economic and social exclusion in a number of different facets of life. The median before tax income of Indigenous peoples in 2016 was $25,526 compared to $34,604 for the non Indigenous population. Indigenous peoples are also less likely to attend post secondary education than other Canadians and 23% report overt experiences of discrimination. Indigenous mothers are more likely to engage in unpaid work, such as caring for children or relatives, than non Indigenous mothers. Indigenous peoples are the youngest demographic group in Canada—about 44% were under age 25 in 2016 (compared to 28% of the non Indigenous population).

Over a third of Indigenous peoples, a group already facing an elevated poverty rate, reported that the pandemic caused them financial instability (compared to a quarter of non Indigenous peoples). Establishing clearer pathways to education and employment for Indigenous peoples, as well as more integrated supports in areas such as child care, could be a driver of broader economic growth and also mitigate some of the complex socio economic challenges that they continue to face.

Charitable and non profit sector

The community based charitable and non profit sector plays a vital role contributing to the fabric of Canadian society, providing essential community based services and social programming, employing over 580,000 people (80% of whom are women, while a significant amount are seniors), and contributing $30.3 billion (1.26%) to Canada’s GDP. The COVID 19 pandemic has significantly disrupted the sector, leading to increased demand for the essential services it provides, amidst, in many cases, decreases in revenues, as well as in volunteer and staff resources.

The sector was supported by COVID 19 benefits, such as the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and funding to deliver the Emergency Community Support Fund to the most vulnerable. Additional strategic investments are needed to help ensure the long term sustainability of the sector and allow it to adapt. It is vital that these organizations be able to address shifting community level needs and develop innovative and modern approaches in the wake of the pandemic. With additional investments, they will be able to continue to deliver vital community programs across Canada and grow their social impact.

C. Your platform commitments

To help deliver on your platform commitments, the Department has undertaken an initial analysis and we are putting forward our strategic advice on key priority themes. [Three sentences redacted].

Below is our early assessment of the major electoral commitments for which you are responsible.

Supporting Seniors

Increase the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) by $500 annually for single seniors and $750 for senior couples, starting at the age of 65, benefiting 2.2 million seniors.

[One sentence redacted]. Building upon the changes made in 2017 to increase the GIS for the lowest income seniors, single GIS recipients would receive an increase to their monthly GIS of about $42, while each member of a senior GIS couple would receive an increase of about $31. The increase would be payable in the first month of implementation and indexed to inflation thereafter.

[Two sentences redacted].

Boost the OAS pension by 10% next year for seniors 75 and over.

Budget 2021 introduced amendments to the Old Age Security Act, which will increase the monthly OAS pension by 10% for seniors aged 75 and over, beginning in July 2022. [One sentence redacted].

Work with all provinces and territories over the next year to increase the support survivors, many of whom are women, receive by increasing the CPP and Quebec Pension Plan survivor’s benefit by 25%.

[Three sentences redacted].

[Three sentences redacted].

[Two sentences redacted].

Establish an expert panel to provide recommendations for establishing an Aging at Home Benefit.

[Two sentences redacted]. The Council advises the Government, through the Minister of Seniors and the Minister of Health, on matters relating to the health, well being and quality of life of seniors, including the opportunities and challenges arising from a rapidly growing and increasingly diverse aging population.

In Budget 2021, the Government committed $90 million over 3 years for the Age Well at Home Initiative to fund organizations to provide in home practical support to help low income and vulnerable seniors age in place. [Two sentences redacted].

Introduce a 1 800 help line for seniors to provide a single point of access to a wide range of government services and benefits.

[One sentence redacted].

[Three sentences redacted].

D. Moving forward with items from the previous mandate

Although the Department has made substantial progress on the Government’s agenda over the last 2 years, there are still policies and programs from the previous mandate at various stages of implementation. Some of these initiatives are reiterated in the Government’s new platform and have been touched upon above, while others will require early decisions to advance. We will seek your direction on what new initiatives to prioritize in the near future given the ambitious scope of the agenda that is already underway.

We will brief you on the status of key files in the coming days and weeks, but below are some examples of ongoing work that will require your direction:

As the co chair of the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors Forum, your approval will be required in the autumn of the Forum’s next set of priorities. The Department will also be seeking your approval of several recent reports on seniors and the COVID 19 pandemic, as well as a dissemination plan and communication products for a recent Seniors Forum report titled, “Social Isolation Among Older Adults During The Pandemic.”

The Minister of Seniors’ 2019 mandate letter committed to working with the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada to strengthen Canada’s approach to elder abuse, which includes creating a national definition of elder abuse. Consultations with stakeholders were held on this topic in the spring and summer, and you may wish to further engage on this issue as the new Minister of Seniors.

E. Partners you may wish to work with to advance your priorities

As previously indicated, it is expected that you will work with other federal colleagues, including those who are also responsible for elements of ESDC’s portfolio, to help advance the Government’s agenda on seniors. This includes working not only with them at the Cabinet table and in Cabinet committees, but also bilaterally on key commitments and programs. For example, you will play a key role in supporting the Minister of Health in implementing the Government’s commitment on safer conditions in long term care homes. You will also be supporting the Minister of Finance, who is leading the delivery of a home accessibility tax credit.

As the federal co chair of the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors Forum, your provincial and territorial counterparts will look forward to engaging with you to advance key files, such as supportive housing for a diverse senior population, supports to assist aging in place, and ageism, which are areas of shared mandate. This is an opportunity to strengthen our relationship and work in close collaboration with our key partners, as well as help shape and influence the agenda going forward.

You may also choose to engage with international colleagues through broader fora, such as the G20, the G7, the Organisation for Economic Co operation and Development, and the United Nations. These relationships are important for sharing knowledge, showcasing and advancing Canada’s labour market, social policy and learning priorities, as well as protecting and promoting Canada’s interests internationally.

ESDC also recognizes the distinct cultural role of Indigenous Elders and the unique context of Indigenous seniors.

F. Challenges you may encounter in advancing your priorities

We would not be serving you well as your deputies if we did not bring to your attention challenges that we will face as we work together towards implementing your priorities. We will need to have an early discussion on how to address these issues, while also moving forward on implementing your agenda.

For example, ESDC’s information technology (IT) underpins the delivery of financial support to millions of Canadians, through such programs as OAS, CPP and EI. [One paragraph redacted].

The shift to online services during COVID 19 and the experiences with the commercial sector are driving client expectations for digital services. [Three sentences redacted].

[Two sentences redacted].

[One paragraph redacted].

Your Welcome Package

You will find additional context and information on the range of issues under ESDC’s portfolio, specifically, you will find the following:

  • ESDC Departmental overview: an overview of the Department outlining in greater detail the information contained in this letter about who we are, what we do and who we serve
  • Infographics: a series of infographic placemats that provide a visual depiction of the environment in which ESDC operates and the issues we work to address
  • Early decisions: an overview of key priorities requiring your attention or decision in the following weeks and months, and
  • Dear Minister: A Letter to an Old Friend on Being a Successful Minister - this timeless letter by the former Clerk of the Privy Council, Mr. Gordon Osbaldeston, to his friend (a newly appointed minister), offers candid thoughts on what makes a successful minister

Your Welcome Package also includes program and service delivery modules, for your information.

In closing, we would like to reiterate that you can count on our full support, as well as that of the entire Department, in implementing your priorities, meeting the challenges of your mandate, and navigating the uncertain times the Department is going through. Detailed program briefings will be organized for you in the coming days. We look forward to working with you.

Yours sincerely,

Graham Flack
Deputy Minister of Employment and Social Development

Lori MacDonald
Senior Associate Deputy Minister of Employment and Social Development and Chief Operating Officer of Service Canada

Sandra Hassan
Deputy Minister of Labour and Associate Deputy Minister of Employment and Social Development

Annette Gibbons
Associate Deputy Minister of Employment and Social Development

Tina Namiesniowski
Senior Associate Deputy Minister of Employment and Social Development

Annex A - Platform commitments led by other departments that may involve ESDC

Double the Home Accessibility Tax Credit
Lead: Finance Canada

Expand the Canada Caregiver Credit into a refundable, tax free benefit
Lead: Finance Canada

Strengthen rights for workers employed by digital platforms so that they are entitled to job protections under the Canada Labour Code and establish new provisions in the Income Tax Act to ensure this work counts toward EI and CPP while also making these platforms pay associated contributions as any employer would.
Lead: Finance Canada

Undertake a comprehensive review of access to the Disability Tax Credit, Canada Pension Plan Disability and other federal benefits and programs to ensure they are available to people experiencing mental health challenges
Lead: Finance Canada

Support safer conditions for seniors and improved wages and working conditions for personal support workers
Lead: Health Canada/ Canada Revenue Agency

Improve the quality and availability of long term care homes and beds
Lead: Health Canada

Implement strict infection prevention and control measures, including through more provincial and territorial facility inspections for long term care homes
Lead: Health Canada

Develop a Safe Long Term Care Act collaboratively to ensure that seniors are guaranteed the care they deserve, no matter where they live
Lead: Health Canada

Establish an expert panel to provide recommendations for establishing an Aging at Home Benefit
Lead: Health Canada/ ESDC [lead to be confirmed]

Establish a new federal transfer to provinces and territories—the Canada Mental Health Transfer—to assist jurisdictions to expand the delivery of high quality, accessible, and free mental health services
Lead: Health Canada

End Gender Based Violence
Lead: Women and Gender Equality

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