Minister Tassi announces funding to support LGBTQ2 seniors communities in Canada

News release

May 16, 2019             Ottawa, Ontario              Employment and Social Development Canada

Everyone deserves to live with dignity, feel safe and have their rights respected, regardless of their identity. Canada is committed to advancing the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, Two-Spirit (LGBTQ2) persons. To this end, the Government of Canada is partnering with LGBTQ2 seniors communities to address the barriers to equality that continue to limit their ability to enjoy their human rights to the fullest.

Today, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Seniors, announced funding of over $193,000 for two projects that support the social integration of LGBTQ2 seniors in Canada. Support for these projects is provided by the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) pan-Canadian stream, which supports organizations that develop collaborative and innovative approaches to increase the social inclusion of seniors.

Minister Tassi made the announcement at Saint Paul University in Ottawa which, in partnership with the University of Guelph, is receiving $96,168 to research and develop a “promising practices” model to assist community organizations to better engage and include LGBTQ2 seniors. To do so, the universities will collect information and analyze the data from five age-friendly communities in Ontario.

The second project will be delivered through the Rainbow Resource Centre in Winnipeg. Working in collaboration with Edmonton Pride Seniors Group and OUTSaskatoon. They are receiving $96,959 for a project to facilitate the social participation and inclusion of LGBTQ2 seniors in their communities through social events, training sessions and volunteering opportunities.

Through Budget 2019, the Government of Canada announced an additional $100 million over five years for the NHSP, with $20 million per year ongoing to enhance the social inclusion of seniors. The new funding will help support more projects across Canada that make a difference in the lives of Canadian seniors.


“Supporting the health and well-being of Canadian seniors is a priority for the Government of Canada. LGBTQ2 seniors are particularly vulnerable given the multilayered challenges they encounter related to ongoing discrimination. The NHSP supports projects that promote the social inclusion of sub-populations of seniors, such as LGBTQ2 older adults, in communities across Canada. We are making a difference in the lives of seniors.”

– The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Seniors

“We know that many seniors experience challenges to living their lives fully. LGBTQ2 seniors face unique barriers often not addressed by community programming. Projects like the ones funded today will focus on these issues and help bring LGBTQ2 seniors out of isolation. These initiatives will improve the quality of life of seniors by fostering inclusive spaces and engagement of older LGBTQ2 Canadians.”

– Member of Parliament Randy Boissonnault, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 issues

Quick facts

  • Seniors are the fastest-growing demographic group in Canada. By 2030, the number of seniors will reach 9.6 million, representing close to one quarter of Canada's population. According to census estimates, there are approximately 335,000 self-reported LGBTQ2 seniors in Canada. 

  • The New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) funds projects that help improve the well-being and quality of life of seniors and foster social inclusion and engagement of older Canadians in all aspects of society. NHSP projects help to ensure that seniors can benefit from, and contribute to, the quality of life in their communities through active living and participation in social activities.  The program has two funding streams: one for community-based projects and one for pan-Canadian projects.

  • The pan-Canadian stream supports multi-year projects using collaborative and innovative approaches to address seniors’ issues.

  • To date, these projects have engaged and connected more than 47,000 seniors to supports and services in their communities to reduce social isolation. As well, more than 5,600 professionals and volunteers have been trained to identify, support and respond to the needs of seniors.

  • In 2019, the NHSP community-based stream provided almost $140,000 in funding for projects supporting LGBTQ2 seniors.

  • These two LGBTQ2 projects are being funded separately from the recent 2018-2019 NHSP pan-Canadian Call for Concepts.

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For media enquiries, please contact:

Lars Wessman
Office of the Minister of Seniors

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada

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