Ottawa – The global COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating for Canada’s seniors, especially those living in long-term care homes. On top of this crisis, too many seniors are worried about their retirement savings running out and concerned about being able to live independently in their own homes. The Government of Canada will learn the hard lessons of this pandemic and take further action to protect the health and safety of Canadian seniors, while also supporting a retirement that is free from financial worry and provides a better quality of life.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today highlighted Budget 2021 measures that will raise benefits for seniors and put more money in their pockets, make sure those in long-term care live in safe and dignified conditions, and help them lead more healthy and independent lives.
To give more than three million seniors greater financial security and put more money in their pockets as they advance in their retirement, Budget 2021 proposes to increase the Old Age Security (OAS) pension by 10 per cent for seniors 75 and over as of July 2022. It also proposes a one-time payment of $500 in August 2021 to OAS pensioners who will be 75 or over as of June 30, 2022.
The government is also fulfilling its commitment to ensure the tragedies that took place in long-term care homes across the country this year never happen again. Budget 2021 intends to ensure a high standard in long-term care homes with $3 billion in funding over five years. The federal government will work collaboratively with provincial and territorial partners to make sure seniors in long-term care homes live in safe and dignified conditions.
To support the independence of seniors who live at home, Budget 2021 proposes to launch the Age Well at Home Initiative. This new initiative will assist community-based organizations in providing support to seniors – such as matching seniors with volunteers who can help with meal preparations, home maintenance, daily errands, yard work, and transportation – and will allow them to live independently in their homes for longer.
These measures build on the work that the government has been doing over the past year, and since 2015, to support Canadian seniors and help them retire in dignity after a lifetime of hard work. The Government of Canada will continue to take additional actions to better support seniors, and improve their quality of life, now and into the future.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a devastating toll on Canada’s seniors and exposed systemic issues in long-term care homes across the country. Through Budget 2021, we will boost Old Age Security benefits, help implement new standards for long-term care, and give more seniors, and their families, the support they need as we recover and rebuild from the pandemic.” – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
“While finishing the fight, Canada must also learn some painful lessons from this pandemic. Better support and protections for our seniors, particularly those in long-term care facilities, is essential. The past year has been difficult, but better days are ahead. Until then, the Government of Canada will do whatever it takes to keep Canadians safe. With our investments in Budget 2021, we will ensure that our seniors receive the support they need, now and in the years to come.” – Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance