Ministers Responsible for Seniors Meet in Halifax

first_img Ministers were informed about progress in updating the SeniorsPolicies and Programs Database (SPPD) whichministers originally launched in 2000. Together with thecompanion Policy Guide to the National Framework on Aging, theSPPD provides policy analysts, program developers and the generalpublic with information on over 450 initiatives for seniors fromfederal, provincial and territorial governments. An improvedwebsite will be launched in January 2004. Quebec indicated that it participates fully in the SeniorsPolicies and Programs Database, and contributes to the otherinitiatives, including the Pan-Canadian Healthy Living Strategyand the National Framework on Aging, by sharing information andbest practices. This reflects its intention to assume fullresponsibility for health and social services activities inQuebec. Ministers Responsible for Seniors meet at 18- to 24-monthintervals to examine and discuss key seniors issues, to shareexperience of their jurisdictions and consider opportunities forcollaboration. They have accepted the invitation of Quebec togather for their eighth conference in May 2005. -30- Cumulative Impacts of Policies and Programs Social Isolation of Older Persons Housing/Aging in Place Seniors Living in Northern and Remote Communities. Ministers Responsible for Seniors met today, Nov. 27, to discussthe opportunities and challenges faced by Canada’s agingpopulation. Ministers noted that amongst Canada’s challenges arethe complexity of the issues facing today’s and tomorrow’sseniors, the number of sectors involved, the time needed toimplement some of the changes and the importance of input fromgovernments and non-governmental stakeholders in managing thisdemographic transformation. More than one person in eight inCanada is now over the age of 65 and in less than 25 years itwill be one person in five. Intergovernmental collaboration andleadership, as well as public involvement will be key to ensuringthat Canada is ready for these major changes. The ministers indicated their strong interest in working withseniors and non-government stakeholders within their respectivejurisdictions in developing collaborative plans for action.Ministers also recognized the importance of working with othergovernment sectors to ensure that seniors’ interests arereflected in the development of policies and programs. Forexample, ministers discussed how to support healthy aginginitiatives and noted that seniors would benefit from being apriority target group in the Pan-Canadian Healthy Living Strategybeing developed by Ministers of Health. “While jurisdictions have adopted specific planning approaches toaging and often face differing priorities, we have seen thatthere are many common elements,” said Anne McLellan, Canada’sMinister of Health and Minister Responsible for Seniors.Ministers noted that the Madrid Plan of Action on Ageing and theexperiences of other countries with older populations are helpinginform planning in Canada. “As Ministers Responsible for Seniors, we are committed toworking with all interested parties to highlight the tremendousopportunities posed by an aging population and to share ourexperiences in addressing the challenges faced by seniors,” saidAngus MacIsaac, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Health and chair of theSenior Citizens’ Secretariat. “The steps that we agreed upontoday are concrete ways for governments to work together and withseniors to implement the principles of the National Framework onAging.” Ministers heard about concerns for planning for Canada’s agingpopulation from a panel reflecting the perspectives of community-based seniors’ organizations, the research community andAlberta’s experience with its own planning process. Members ofthe panel were Omer Blinn, past chairperson of Nova Scotia’scoalition of seniors organizations; Dr. Réjean Hébert, scientificdirector of Canadian Institute of Health Research’s (CIHR)Institute on Aging; and Stan Woloshyn, Minister of Seniors forAlberta. Ministers discussed the abuse and neglect faced by many olderadults and the ways to assist caregivers of seniors. They taskedtheir officials to determine the social and economic costs ofabuse and neglect, to work with other federal-provincial-territorial fora in reviewing various options within the contextof CPP/QPP to help support caregivers of seniors and others; and,in studying taxation and other policies designed to increasesupport for caregivers. The ministers also asked their officials to investigate furthercollaborative work in the following areas: last_img