October 1 is National Seniors Day. Celebrating the day annually will help raise awareness about seniors’ contributions and the important roles they play in Canadian society.
The Government of Canada is proud to pay tribute to the seniors who have helped build our country and continue to make valuable contributions to Canadian communities, workplaces and society.
National Seniors Day is an occasion for all Canadians to appreciate and celebrate seniors. There are lots of ways for individuals, community groups, schools, employers and families to celebrate National Seniors Day—whether you are participating an event or simply meeting a senior for coffee.
All Canadians are encouraged to connect with seniors and recognize them for the important role they play in their lives, our society and our economy on Twitter using the hashtag #SayThanks and to visit and like our Seniors in Canada Facebook page, which is an engaging space for seniors, families and communities to receive the latest information about Government of Canada initiatives that benefit seniors.
National Seniors Day is important because it formally recognizes and raises awareness of the importance of contributions seniors have made in shaping this great nation.
National Seniors Day is intended to complement the government’s concrete actions to help seniors. The Government of Canada is working hard to help improve the lives of seniors on many fronts.
- Public pensions are an important part of the retirement income of Canadians, particularly for lower-income single seniors who face a high risk of living in poverty. In Canada, the vast majority of low-income seniors are single and live alone; a significant portion of this group are also women.
- On March 22, 2016, Budget 2016 announced important changes to address the needs of vulnerable low-income seniors, including:
- Restoring the age of eligibility for Old Age Security
With Budget 2016, the age of eligibility for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) was restored from 67 to 65 and the Allowances from 62 to 60. In 2012, the Old Age Security Act was amended to gradually increase the age of eligibility for the OAS pension and the GIS from 65 to 67 over six years. The changes were scheduled to start in April 2023 with full implementation by January 2029.
- Increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement for single seniors
In July 2016, the GIS was increased by $947 annually for single seniors with the lowest incomes.
- This helps support seniors who rely almost exclusively on the OAS pension and the GIS and may therefore be at risk of experiencing financial difficulties. This measure improves the financial security of about 900,000 seniors across Canada.
- Increasing benefits for couples living apart for reasons beyond their control
Amendments to the Old Age Security Act will be introduced to ensure that couples who receive GIS and Allowance benefits and have to live apart for reasons beyond their control (such as a requirement for long-term care) will receive higher benefits based on their individual incomes, not combined incomes.
- Supporting affordable housing for seniors
The Government will support the construction, repair, and adaption of affordable housing for low-income seniors through an investment of $201 million over two years starting in 2016-2017 to help the many seniors facing challenges in accessing affordable housing. While funding is being provided under the Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH) initiative, provinces and territories will not be required to cost-match these investments.
A Community News blog post
West Toronto Support Services writes articles about events and news in the community that closely align with our agencies mission of living independently and promoting your health & wellness. Articles posted under community news don’t necessarily mean we directly endorse them – they are articles of interest that you can pursue further. We believe a healthy community is a diverse and connected community!
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