Report on the Labour Force Participation of Seniors and Near Seniors, and Intergenerational Relations

Foreword

In June 2010, when the former Minister of State (Seniors), the Honourable Diane Ablonczy, assigned the National Seniors Council its current priorities, the Council was undecided as to whether the labour force participation of seniors and near seniors, and intergenerational relations, two very different and distinct topics, could be examined simultaneously. Upon discussion with stakeholders, it became apparent that the two priorities were indeed linked in many ways.

The results of consultations carried out by the National Seniors Council on its two priorities were summarized in its ‘What We Heard’ report; submitted to responsible Ministers, the Minister of HRSD; the Minister of Health; and the Minister of State (Seniors), and all participating stakeholders in June 2011. Based on an analysis of the consultation feedback, and taking into consideration the many recommendations made by participants, the Council is pleased to submit this report to responsible Ministers.

Upon examination of the labour force participation of seniors and near seniors, the Council became aware of the intergenerational component of this priority, and the fact that many of the recommendations in this report can be applied to workers of all ages.

The impact of the demographic shift on intergenerational relations was difficult to characterize. Perceived intergenerational challenges in society as a whole were discussed during each of our consultations and the general conclusion was always that all Canadians should embrace the differences between generations in all milieus of society, including the family, workplace and community. Numerous examples of organizational and community-led intergenerational projects, and resulting benefits, were described and the Council based a number of recommendations on this feedback.

Of note, the Council made use for the first time of an online consultation. We hope that this cost-effective mechanism will allow for broader participation by Canadians in the future.

The Council is pleased to submit these recommendations for action to the Government of Canada, in hopes that they present realistic and doable avenues through which the government can continue to support the quality of life and well-being of all Canadians.

Sincerely,

Jean-Guy Soulière
Chair,
National Seniors Council

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