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VERNON, BRITISH COLUMBIA, April 22, 2008 — Mr. Colin Mayes, Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Shuswap, today celebrated funding for three projects under the New Horizons for Seniors Program.Mr. Mayes represented the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, and the Honourable Marjory LeBreton, Leader of the Government in the Senate and Secretary of State (Seniors) at an event where he congratulated the Vernon Restholm Association, the Inkamupalux Elders Society and the Kindale Development Association for their projects that will enable seniors to stay involved and take active leadership roles in their community.
“The Government of Canada is proud to support seniors in strengthening our communities and building our country,” said Mr. Mayes. “The three projects will encourage seniors in the Vernon area to continue sharing their skills, wisdom and experience to benefit others.”
The three organizations received total funding of $32, 000. Throughout British Columbia, under the Community Participation and Leadership component of the New Horizons for Seniors Program, total funding of over $1.5 million was provided for 97 projects to support 58 communities.
These projects were funded from a 2007 Call for Applications. The New Horizons for Seniors Program is now accepting applications under the Community Participation and Leadership component for the fiscal year 2008-2009. The deadline to apply is June 13, 2008.
The Community Participation component is one part of the New Horizons for Seniors Program. The 2007 federal budget introduced two new components of the New Horizons for Seniors Program. Seniors’ organizations can now receive funding to improve facilities and equipment needed to keep seniors active in their communities and to raise awareness of elder abuse issues.
This event followed a National Seniors Council Roundtable on Seniors’ Well-Being held in Vernon. Council members met with seniors’ organizations and service providers to better understand the challenges faced by seniors living on low incomes, particularly women.
Established in March 2007, the National Seniors Council advises the Government of Canada on all matters related to the well-being of seniors, and helps ensure that federal government policies, programs and services continue to meet the evolving needs of Canada’s aging population.
“These roundtables give the Council a great opportunity to get to know people working on the front lines of seniors’ issues,” said Mr. Jean-Guy Soulière, Chair of the National Seniors Council. “Hearing these views will help us to give the Government our best advice to ensure that the evolving needs of Canada’s aging population can be met.”
Today’s roundtable is one of a series being held across Canada. In February and March, roundtables were held in Québec City, Quebec; St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador; Woodstock, New Brunswick; Winnipeg, Manitoba; and Nanaimo, British Columbia. Another roundtable will be held on April 24 in Whitehorse, Yukon.
The New Horizons for Seniors Program has funded over 2,600 projects across Canada, inspiring seniors to bring their leadership, energy and skills to benefit our communities. For more information about the Program, please visit http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/community_partnerships/seniors/index.shtml .
For more information on the National Seniors Council, please visit the following Web site: www.seniorscouncil.gc.ca.
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A list of the funded projects in the Vernon area is included in the attached backgrounder.
This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.
Additional information (media only):
Office of Minister Solberg
Human Resources and Social Development Canada
New Horizons for Seniors Program
Across Canada, the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) helps to ensure that seniors are able to benefit from and contribute to the quality of life in their communities through their social participation and active living. This is achieved through funding community projects that help seniors share their skills, wisdom and experience to benefit others, while reducing their social isolation.
Building on the success of the NHSP, in Budget 2007 the Government of Canada increased the Program’s budget by $10 million per year to provide capital assistance for repairs to facilities and equipment related to existing seniors’ programs, and to raise awareness of elder abuse across Canada. This has increased the total budget for the NHSP to $35 million per year.
As a result, the Program now offers three types of funding to organizations:
1. Community Participation and Leadership Funding: This funding supports community-based projects across Canada. The projects encourage seniors to continue to play an important role in their communities by helping those in need, providing leadership and sharing their knowledge and skills with others.
New funding components
2. Capital Assistance Funding: This funding will help non-profit organizations that need to upgrade facilities or equipment used for existing seniors’ programs and activities. It will enable seniors to continue to lead active lives by participating in existing programs and activities in their communities.
3. Elder Abuse Awareness Funding: This funding will help non-profit organizations and coalitions raise awareness of the abuse of older adults on a national or regional level. Through this funding, new educational and awareness resources about elder abuse will be available to improve quality of life, safety and security for seniors.
Government of Canada Initiatives for Seniors
The Government of Canada is working hard to help all seniors live with dignity and respect. And Budget 2008 brings progress on many fronts-from tax relief and stretching retirement savings to assisting older workers, building safer communities and protecting our most vulnerable seniors.
In Budget 2008, the Government of Canada announced funding of $13 million over three years to help raise awareness of elder abuse and assist seniors in dealing with this difficult issue.
Budget 2008 also included $60 million per year to increase the earnings exemption of seniors who receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement.
The federal government is addressing the needs of Canada’s seniors through these and other important measures that include:
- to bring their leadership, energy and skills to projects that benefit our communities;
- enabling 1.6 million low-income seniors to benefit from increased monthly benefits available under the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) and to make a one-time application for GIS. As long as they file income tax returns every year, they will never have to reapply;
- providing more than $1 billion in tax relief to Canadian seniors and pensioners in Budget 2007;
- enabling seniors to build their retirement savings in Registered Pension Plans and Registered Retirement Savings Plans for an extra two years until age 71; and
- raising the amount seniors can claim under the age credit on their tax returns for 2007. With less income taxed, seniors save more.
- 2007-2008 COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION AND LEADERSHIP FUNDING TO NEW HORIZONS FOR SENIORS PROJECTS IN VERNON AND ARMSTRONG –
Organization/ Project Title/ Location/ Amount
Vernon Restholm Association
Social Kitchen Family Room
Inkamupalux Elders Society
Teaching of Okanagan Elders
Kindale Development Association
Seniors Creating Community Supports for Adults with Developmental Disabilities
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