Ottawa, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Today, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and the Member of Parliament for Châteauguay—Lacolle, Brenda Shanahan held a roundtable meeting with many seniors groups from across the Montérégie to discuss Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience and the Government of Canada’s proposed investment of $90 million over three years to launch the Age Well at Home initiative.
There are around 271,000 seniors aged 65 and over who live in the Montérégie. Seniors in the Montérégie and across Canada want to live independently for as long as possible, so they can stay in their homes and communities. The new Age Well at Home initiative would fund proven services by community groups that help seniors live at home.
The Age Well at Home initiative will provide practical services such as matching seniors with volunteers who can help with meal preparations, home maintenance, daily errands, yard work, and transportation. It will help seniors access local services such as shoveling snow, cutting grass, preparing meals, picking up medicine, cleaning homes and taking care of other practical, non-medical tasks that they are no longer able to manage.
The Age Well at Home initiative will support low-income and vulnerable seniors who are unable to draw on other sources of support, such as paid services or family and friends.
Budget 2021 is a plan to bridge Canadians and Canadian businesses through the crisis and towards a robust recovery. It proposes a number of important new measures to support seniors.
The Government of Canada is also proposing to provide a one-time payment of $500 payment in August 2021 to Old Age Security (OAS) pensioners who will be 75 or over as of June 2022. The government is then proposing to introduce legislation to increase regular OAS payments for pensioners 75 and over by 10 per cent on an ongoing basis as of July 2022. This would increase the benefits for approximately 3.3 million seniors in Montérégie and across Canada, providing additional benefits of $766 to full pensioners in the first year. As seniors age, their health and home care costs rise, all while they are more likely to be unable to work, have disabilities or be widowed. This proposed increase would strengthen Canadians’ financial security and peace of mind later in life. This would be the first permanent increase to the Old Age Security pension since 1973, other than adjustments due to inflation.
The Government of Canada is also proposing to provide $3 billion over five years, starting in 2022-23, to Health Canada to support provinces and territories in ensuring standards for long-term care are applied and permanent changes are made. The federal government will work collaboratively with provinces and territorities, while respecting their jurisdiction over health care, including long-term care. This work would ensure seniors live in safe and dignified conditions.
Canada entered the pandemic in a strong fiscal position. This allowed the government to take quick and decisive action, supporting people and businesses, and put it in the position to make historic investments in the recovery.
“Over the course of their lives, our seniors have contributed so much to building our communities. We are here to listen and to make their lives better. Our recent federal budget outlines many landmark investments that would raise the quality of life for seniors in the Montérégie and across Canada. We are here to support the region’s seniors so that they can live in dignity and at home as long as possible”
– The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on seniors and shown us the importance of providing ample community support to better their quality of life. The new Age Well at Home initiative would be a big boost to community groups who are helping seniors live happily, independently, and in dignity.”
– Brenda Shanahan, Member of Parliament for Châteauguay—Lacolle
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food