Calgary, Alberta, May 16, 2013—The Honourable Alice Wong, Canada’s Minister of State for Seniors, along with the Honourable George VanderBurg, Alberta’s Associate Minister of Seniors, were in Calgary today at the West Hillhurst Go-Getters Association to announce the launch of the newly revamped seniors.gc.ca, a central source of information for seniors, their families, and caregivers.
The Government of Canada continues to work with provincial, territorial, municipal, and other partners to provide seniors information on services and benefits from all levels of government. As part of this effort, seniors.gc.ca now features a new Information for Seniors section that provides an interactive map with quick links to programs, benefits and services, and includes 2-1-1 services where available.
“Our Government is committed to helping seniors maintain a high quality of life and continue to be active members of their communities,” said Minister Wong. “That is why today we are launching Seniors.gc.ca, including the new Information for Seniors section, which provides information about relevant programs and benefits, and resources to help seniors stay active, engaged and informed.”
“Seniors, families and caregivers are increasingly going online for information about government programs and services,” said Associate Minister George VanderBurg. “This newly revamped website from the Government of Canada provides easy access to the information people are looking for, including helpful links to provincial government resources and websites.”
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“We are very pleased to be collaborating with the Government of Canada and provincial counterparts on new initiatives such as the ‘Information for Seniors’ section at seniors.gc.ca. All across Canada, United Ways, Centraides and our partners are working to improve access to community services for seniors and all Canadians through the 2-1-1 phone service and www.211.ca,” said Dr. Jacline Abray-Nyman, President and CEO, United Way Centraide Canada.
Seniors.gc.ca, including the Information for Seniors section, which has been well received by seniors and stakeholder organizations, also provides information on a range of key initiatives like the New Horizons for Seniors Program, which supports projects led or inspired by seniors who want to make a difference in the lives of others and in their communities. Measures to increase awareness of elder abuse are also included on the site.
“CARP members welcome the new Seniors.gc.ca. It certainly covers the questions we get all the time and more important, helps people navigate the various programs and initiatives. Increasingly, people want to be able to handle their own affairs and access their government directly and this website will help them do that. We will let our 300,000 members across the country know about Seniors.gc.ca.” Susan Eng, Vice President, Advocacy, CARP.
“Through seniors.gc.ca, the Government of Canada is providing high-quality information to older Canadians in a clear and concise way. That’s a key ingredient in supporting informed decision-making, something we’re committed to at McMaster University and which is driving the design of the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal.” John N. Lavis, MD PhD, Professor and Director, McMaster Health Forum, and Member of the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal Development Team.
Minister Wong noted that as part of Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government of Canada proposes to better protect seniors in a variety of areas, including financial services, financial literacy and health.
Visit seniors.gc.ca  for easy access to government-related benefits, programs and initiatives for seniors.
The Government of Canada is working hard to help improve the lives of seniors on many fronts. These efforts include:
- developing seniors.gc.ca as a central resource for seniors on government benefits and services, including finances, housing, health and wellness;
- providing Canadians with close to $76 billion this year through Canada’s public pension system;
- a top-up to the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) to help Canada’s most vulnerable seniors. This was the largest increase in 25 years to the GIS for the lowest-income seniors. This measure further improves the financial security and well-being of more than 680 000 seniors across Canada;
- providing $2.7 billion in 2013 in additional tax relief to seniors and pensioners through measures such as pension income splitting and increasing the Age credit;
- providing $400 million over two years under Canada’s Economic Action Plan for the construction of housing units for low-income seniors;
- actions to address elder abuse, which include awareness campaigns, the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP), which funds projects to raise awareness of elder abuse and legislation that would help ensure consistently tough penalties for offences involving the abuse of elderly persons;
- increasing funding to the NHSP by $5 million, bringing the Program’s annual budget to $45 million. The Program helps seniors use their leadership abilities, energy and skills to benefit communities across Canada; and
- supporting positive and active aging through the collaborative Age-Friendly Communities Initiative, Physical Activity Tips for Older Adults, and falls-prevention initiatives.