Backgrounder: Providing seniors in Canada with greater security and a better quality of life

Backgrounder

Providing seniors in Canada with greater security and a better quality of life

The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring its programs and services respond to the needs of Canada’s aging population and provide seniors and future retirees with greater security and a better quality of life. As a result, the Government has taken important steps to improve the income security of seniors, improve seniors’ access to affordable housing, promote healthy aging, improve access to health care and foster social inclusion and engagement of seniors.

Income security

  • The Government of Canada has restored the age of eligibility for Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement to 65 from 67.
  • The Government of Canada has increased the Guaranteed Income Supplement amount by up to $947 per year for the lowest-income single seniors, providing assistance to close to 900,000 low-income seniors, and lifting 57,000 out of poverty.
  • The Government of Canada has implemented the Canada Pension Plan enhancement, increasing benefits and contributions to strengthen the retirement income security of today’s workers and help them maintain their standard of living when they leave the workforce. It has also implemented a reform package that further protects individuals with disabilities, parents of young children, families of low-income workers and individuals who lose a spouse or common-law partner.
  • Last fall, the Government of Canada launched the Consultations on Enhancing Retirement Security. The consultations aimed at asking pensioners, workers, companies and other stakeholders to help find a balanced way forward in addressing retirement security for all Canadians.

Prevention of fraud and financial abuse

  • The Government of Canada is engaging banks and seniors’ groups to create a code of conduct that will guide banks in their delivery of services to seniors.
  • The Government of Canada has introduced legislation to strengthen consumers’ rights when it comes to banking and to improve the protections offered by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC).
  • FCAC is also leading the Strengthening Financial Literacy of Seniors strategy, which includes objectives to educate and protect seniors against fraud and financial abuse.
  • The Government of Canada is investing in community-based projects through its New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) to help inform and educate seniors about potential scams and fraud.

Access to affordable housing and poverty reduction

  • The Government of Canada has launched Canada’s National Housing Strategy, providing $40 billion over 10 years to help reduce homelessness and improve the availability and quality of housing for Canadians in need, including seniors.
  • Through the National Housing Co-Investment Fund, the Government has committed to creating at least 7,000 seniors units.
  • The Government of Canada has introduced Opportunity for All – Canada’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy, which targets a 20-percent reduction in poverty by 2020 and a 50-percent reduction by 2030.

Social inclusion, healthy aging and improved access to healthcare

  • Through Budget 2017, the federal government committed targeted funding of $6 billion over 10 years to provinces and territories to improve access to home care services, including palliative care. An additional $184.6 million over five years was allocated to improve home and palliative care for Indigenous communities.
  • The Government of Canada is developing a National Dementia Strategy as part of its commitment to improving the lives of Canadians with dementia, as well as their families and their caregivers. The Strategy will consider the experiences of those living with dementia and will build on the innovative work already underway across the country.

Social participation

  • The Government of Canada continues to provide funding through the NHSP to organizations that help ensure seniors can benefit from and contribute to the quality of life in their communities through active living and participation in social activities. The NHSP has funded more than 23,000 projects in hundreds of communities across Canada since 2004.

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