TORONTO, April 26, 2023 /CNW/ – The Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors Forum met today in Toronto. They discussed key priorities to support current and future generations of older Canadians, including challenges related to the cost of living, senior abuse, housing, ageism and the role of technology in the lives of seniors. The meeting was co-chaired by Canada’s Minister of Seniors, the Honourable Kamal Khera, and Ontario’s Minister for Seniors and Accessibility, the Honourable Raymond Cho. This is the first in-person meeting of the Forum since 2019.
As seniors are the fastest-growing demographic in Canada, it is a top priority to ensure that government policies and programs take their evolving needs into consideration. Older adults face unique challenges accessing the services and supports to help them live in their communities for as long as they want. There is a need for further collaboration across all levels of government in their respective jurisdictions to address issues facing seniors across Canada.
Today, the ministers shared information on the measures their governments are taking to support seniors. These include a series of targeted affordability measures aimed at reducing poverty and enabling seniors to maintain a dignified standard of living. The ministers also discussed the challenges and opportunities regarding support to help seniors age in place and held a broader discussion on the realities and issues faced by their respective governments.
Finally, the ministers heard updates on the work underway as part of the Forum’s 2022–25 work cycle. They approved both the first report from the working group on senior abuse and the What We Heard report from the working group on ageism. These reports showcased the outcomes of intergovernmental cooperation resulting from the Forum’s consultations.1
Both of these reports will be available on the Forum’s website in the coming months.
Note: All governments contribute to the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors Forum by sharing information, expertise and innovative practices. Québec intends to continue to fully assume its responsibilities towards senior citizens within its territory and it will continue to share its best practices, experiences and knowledge.
“I am pleased to have met with my provincial and territorial counterparts to further collaborate and discuss how we can best support our rapidly growing aging population. At the very centre of this Federal/Provincial/Territorial Forum was a desire to find ways to improve the overall well-being of seniors and make their lives more affordable. I was happy to share how the federal government has strengthened the Guaranteed Income Supplement and Old Age Security and restored the age of eligibility for those benefits back to 65. We also know that a majority of seniors want to age in place. It was very informative to discuss with my provincial and territorial counterparts about how we can deliver better support while ensuring access to safe and high-quality care, in our respective jurisdictions.”
– The Honourable Kamal Khera, Canada’s Minister of Seniors
“Ontario is excited to share our knowledge and experience with our federal, provincial and territorial partners as we deliver meaningful programs and services that help seniors stay healthy, safe and connected to community life. This includes recognizing the unique needs of diverse seniors, ending the stigma of ageism and reducing social isolation.”
– The Honourable Raymond Cho, Ontario’s Minister for Seniors and Accessibility
1 While Québec remains committed to improving the living conditions of seniors, combatting ageism, and ensuring consistency of services offered to them, it intends to remain solely responsible for social and health services provided to its seniors population. Therefore, Québec is not bound by the findings of these reports.
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada