OTTAWA, ONTARIO, NOVEMBER 19, 2010-The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State (Seniors), is happy to announce that Canadians now have an official day to celebrate seniors. Bill C-40, An Act to establish National Seniors Day, introduced by Minister of State Ablonczy, received Royal Assent on November 18, 2010. Through this legislation, October 1 is recognized as National Seniors Day.
"Our government is proud to pay tribute to the significant contributions seniors continue to make in communities across Canada through their experience, expertise and knowledge," said Minister of State Ablonczy. "Older Canadians have given so much to our families, our communities, our workplaces and our country. October 1 is our opportunity to celebrate those contributions and to show our appreciation."
Establishing National Seniors Day fulfills a Government of Canada commitment made in the 2010 Speech from the Throne. National Seniors Day will be celebrated every year on October 1. This date coincides with the United Nations International Day of Older Persons, and is an opportunity for Canadians to show their appreciation for the contributions of seniors to our country's past, present and future.
For more information on the Government of Canada's programs and services for seniors, please visit www.seniors.gc.ca.
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For further information (media only):
Office of Minister of State Ablonczy
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National Seniors Day builds on the many concrete measures introduced by the Government of Canada to help improve the well-being and quality of life of Canada's seniors. These initiatives include:
- providing Canadians with almost $70 billion annually through Canada's public pension system;
- providing $2.3 billion annually in tax relief to seniors and pensioners through measures such as pension income splitting and increasing the Age Credit;
- appointing a Minister of State (Seniors)-someone who can bring the concerns of older Canadians to the Cabinet table and stand up on their behalf;
- providing $400 million over two years through the Affordable Housing Initiative for the construction of housing units for low-income seniors;
- increasing funding to the New Horizons for Seniors Program in Budget 2010 by $5 million, bringing the Program's total funding to $40 million annually. The Program helps seniors use their leadership, energy and skills to benefit communities across Canada;
- supporting positive and active aging through the collaborative Age-Friendly Communities Initiative, Canada's Physical Activity Guide to Healthy Active Living for Older Adults, and falls prevention initiatives; and
- creating the National Seniors Council in 2007 to provide advice to the federal government on matters related to the well-being and quality of life of seniors.