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Minister Kamal Khera and Minister Jean-Yves Duclos celebrate National Seniors Day

GATINEAU, QC, Oct. 1, 2022 /CNW/ - Today, the Minister of Seniors, Kamal Khera and the Minister of Health, Jean-Yves Duclos, issued the following statement:

"Happy National Seniors Day!

Every year, on October 1st, we celebrate seniors in Canada and express our gratitude for all of their invaluable accomplishments and contributions that have helped shape Canada into the strong and inclusive country it is today.

After a lifetime of hard work, Canadian seniors deserve a secure and dignified retirement. However, for some, the rising cost of living is making it more difficult to make ends meet. As a government, we know the very real impact that challenges with affordability are having on seniors across the country and we're going to make sure that we are there, supporting them, every step of the way. 

That is why when Parliament returned this fall, the very first thing we did was introduce legislation to help the most vulnerable seniors. We've set out provisions which will double the GST tax credit for six months, putting up to an extra $233 back in the pocket of seniors. We are also working to deliver a $500 payment to nearly two million low-income renters who are struggling with the cost of housing, including seniors.

This past summer we increased the Old Age Security (OAS) by 10% for seniors aged 75 and older, resulting in full-time pensioners receiving over $800 more every year to help pay their bills and buy groceries. We've also increased the Guaranteed Income Supplement for single seniors by up to $947 per year, and raised Canada Pension Plan payments for future retirees.

Though we've accomplished a lot to support seniors, we also recognize that there is still more to do.

The last couple of years have highlighted some of the long-standing and systemic challenges in long term care facilities faced by older Canadians and our government remains steadfast in improving the overall wellbeing and quality of life of all seniors no matter where they live.

That is why our government invested $1 billion, through the Safe Long-term Care Fund, to support provinces and territories to protect those living and working in long-term care settings, as well as improve infection prevention and control measures.

Budget 2021 announced a further $3 billion investment, starting in 2022?23, to support provinces and territories in their efforts to ensure standards for long-term care are applied and permanent changes are made. This funding will help support workforce stability and strengthen enforcement capacity, quality and safety improvements to meet standards, including through accreditation and regular inspections.

In December 2020, the United Nations declared 2021?2030 the Decade of Healthy Ageing.

As a Member State of the United Nations and the World Health Organization, Canada endorsed the proposal for the Decade given its alignment with our efforts to address the needs of our aging population and our commitment to enhance the wellbeing and quality of life for seniors.

We know that Canadians ultimately want to age at home or in their community, close to family and loved ones. Therefore, our government is investing in a wide range of research focused on older adults to create the evidence base we need to improve programs, services and products available to older adults in Canada. Programs like the New Horizons for Seniors Program, which provides funding to organizations for projects that make a difference in the lives of seniors and their communities, and the Age Well at Home initiative that provides practical supports to seniors who want to continue living in their own homes.

Our government is also providing $6 billion over 10 years?which started in 2017?for provinces and territories to improve access to home and community care services, including palliative care. This investment will help more Canadians receive the care and services they need so that they may remain at home with their loved ones longer.

Today and everyday, it is important to remember the generations of Canadians who came before us and to recognize, appreciate, and connect with the seniors in our lives. We are here thanks to the courage they demonstrated in striving for a better future.

We encourage you to celebrate National Seniors Day by showing your appreciation for a senior in your life. Give them a call, take a walk together or help a senior run some errands. No gesture is too small. 

Join the conversation by using the hashtag #NationalSeniorsDay, visit the Seniors in Canada Facebook page or the National Seniors Day webpage."

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SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

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