Minister O’Regan outlines how the federal government is helping Canadians age with dignity at the CARP Annual General Meeting

News release

February 22, 2024              Toronto, Ontario              Employment and Social Development Canada

Canadians deserve to age with dignity. That comes down to choice, to affordability, to inclusion, and to community.

Today, Canada’s Minister for Seniors, Seamus O’Regan Jr., joined volunteers, board members and leaders from the Canadian Association of Retired Persons at their Annual General Meeting to discuss the key issues seniors are facing as well as the federal programs and agreements in place to help support Canada’s aging population.

Launched in December 2023, Minister O’Regan highlighted the Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP)—a new federal plan which will help up to 9 million people who don’t have coverage, finally get dental care. Since the launch, more than 800,000 have been approved for the CDCP. Seniors aged 72 and above have been contacted directly about their eligibility and registration, with letters to seniors aged 70 and 71 to be sent in March.

Minister O’Regan also discussed the federal government’s work with provinces and territories to improve health care and long-term care for seniors in Canada. This includes federal investments of $5.4 billion over five years to help seniors across Canada age with dignity, with access to home care or safe long-term care.

Affordability remains the biggest concern for all Canadians. The Government of Canada has taken action to support seniors, particularly those who rely on fixed incomes. This includes the 2022 increase to the Old Age Security, changes to the Guaranteed Income Supplement and the introduction of the grocery rebate in 2023.


“Seniors should age with dignity and choice. That’s a shared value and belief across Canada because of organizations like CARP and their relentless advocacy. They’re changing what aging looks like in Canada.”

–      Minister for Seniors, Seamus O’Regan Jr.

"Minister O'Regan's remarks were not only significant but also appreciated by the 225,000 members of CARP who closely follow issues concerning seniors. The thousands who attended both in person and online underscore the importance of the topics addressed. It's heartening to see the Minister taking proactive steps to address the concerns of older Canadians. Ensuring their financial security and access to adequate health supports speaks to our values as a compassionate society. His understanding of the need for support of home care, dental care and pharmacare was reassuring to CARP members."

–      Bill VanGorder, Chief Advocacy and Education Officer, Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP)

Quick facts

  • In addition to the Working Together Agreements, the Government of Canada is working with provinces and territories to implement a second bilateral agreement focused on helping Canadians age with dignity close to home, with access to home care or care in a safe long-term care facility. The Aging with Dignity Agreements include $2.4 billion over four years to improve access to home and community care from Budget 2017; and $3 billion over five years for long-term care from Budget 2021 to apply standards of care in long-term care facilities and help support workforce stability.

  • As of July 2022, Old Age Security (OAS) was increased by 10% for seniors aged 75 and up. It was the first permanent increase to the OAS since 1973 and provided full pensioners an extra $800 over the first year. The OAS program paid over $60 billion in benefits to 7 million beneficiaries last year alone, including $14 billion in Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) benefits to 2.2 million low-income beneficiaries.

  • Since 2015, the federal government has taken other significant action to further support our seniors, including:

    • restoring the age of eligibility for OAS and GIS back to age 65 from 67, preventing about 100,000 future seniors from falling into poverty;
    • increasing the GIS by up to $947 per year for the lowest-income single seniors, which has benefitted close to 900,000 seniors; and
    • enhancing the GIS earnings exemption so that low-income seniors who work can keep more of their benefits.
  • The one-time grocery rebate, proposed in Budget 2023 as a targeted inflation relief for vulnerable Canadians, provided $2.5 billion for 11 million low- and modest-income Canadians and families to help support them with the rising cost of living and food prices. On average, eligible couples with two children received up to an extra $467; single Canadians without children an extra $234; and seniors with an extra $225.

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For media enquiries, please contact:

Hartley Witten
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister for Labour and Seniors

Media Relations Office 
Employment and Social Development Canada 
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