Minister Schulte and Minister Hajdu announce the appointment of three new members to the National Seniors Council  

News release

Government of Canada committed to the well-being and quality of life of older adults  

April 9, 2021              Gatineau, Quebec               Employment and Social Development Canada 

Seniors are an important part of our social fabric and contribute to the rich diversity of Canada. The Government of Canada is committed to seeking advice on seniors' issues to inform its work so that Canadians can age with dignity and in the best possible health, while enjoying social and economic security.

Today, the Minister of Seniors, Deb Schulte, and the Minister of Health, Patty Hajdu, announced the appointment of three new members to the National Seniors Council (NSC). The NSC engages with seniors, stakeholders and experts to provide advice to the Government of Canada on matters related to the health, well-being and quality of life of seniors.

The following new members were appointed by the Governor in Council on the recommendations of Minister Schulte and Minister Hajdu:

  • Ms. Zena Simces, appointed for a two year term
    Ms. Simces is an accomplished senior consultant and change agent with over 30 years of experience in the health, social services, education, justice and employment sectors. She has a unique combination of expertise in research, policy and program development, community engagement and communications. She has conducted numerous evaluations, reviews and facilitated extensive consultation projects, many of which relate to the health and well-being of seniors.
  • Dr. Samir K. Sinha, appointed for a two year term
    Dr. Sinha is a highly regarded expert in the care of older adults. He currently serves as the Peter and Shelagh Godsoe Chair in Geriatrics and Director of Geriatrics of Sinai Health System and the University Health Network in Toronto, and Director of Health Policy Research at Ryerson University’s National Institute on Ageing and was recently named the Chairperson for Health Standards Organization’s National Long-Term Care Services Standard Technical Committee.
  • Dr. Pamela Williamson, appointed for a three year term
    Dr. Williamson is a First Nations researcher and published author. She is currently a member of the Health Sciences North Research Institute Board of Directors. For 15 years, she was the Executive Director of the Noojmowin Teg Health Centre. She serves on numerous boards and committees.

With the reappointment of James O’Neil Hamilton for one year, all positions on the National Seniors Council have been filled.


“I am pleased to welcome the National Seniors Council’s newest members. Their vast knowledge and experience of seniors issues will be a valuable asset in the continued work of the Council to support seniors across Canada.”
– Minister of Seniors, Deb Schulte

“I value the advice provided by the National Seniors Council on the best way to serve seniors and support our aging population. As the proportion of seniors grows in Canada it is important that their views be reflected in the policies and programs to help them live well as they age.”
– Minister of Health, Patty Hajdu

Quick facts

  • Since 2007, the NSC has examined issues related to the social isolation of seniors, the participation of older workers in the labour force, positive and active aging, volunteerism, low income among seniors and elder and financial abuse. Most recently, they have examined issues emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic and provided Ministers with advice on these matters. 

  • The NSC is made up of experts on seniors’ issues and aging, individuals with experience working for organizations that represent the interests of seniors and seniors themselves.

  • Members are nominated based on their expertise and experience related to seniors issues. They are appointed by the Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Minister of Seniors and the Minister of Health. 

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For media enquiries, please contact:

Daniel Pollak
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Seniors

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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