Message from the Minister
August 31, 2022
As August ends and September quickly approaches, this marks the end of Pride celebrations. I believe Pride is more than just a few months out of the year. There is always more to do to support the 2SLGBTQI+ community, and our government is committed to taking action to better address the community’s unique needs.
I am proud to say that our nation’s first-ever 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan was announced by the Prime Minister this past weekend. 2SLGBTQI+ seniors are continuing to contribute to building a more inclusive Canada, and they are a crucial part of the fabric of our society. As the Minister of Seniors, I am committed to identifying ways in which our government can improve the inclusivity of the 2SLGBTQI+ seniors’ community.
I wrote an op-ed earlier this summer that stated that in 2018, 7% of 2SLGBTQI+ Canadians were aged 65 or older. Many currently need or will eventually need either at-home supports or to move into a long-term care or assisted living facility.
A few weeks ago, I was heartened to see long-term care provider, The Rekai Centres, unveil a 25-bed Rainbow Wing for 2SLGBTQI+ seniors at one of their downtown Toronto sites. Another Rainbow Wing is slated to open at another long-term care home, Cherry Place, also in Toronto, in 2025. While these are the first facilities of their kind in North America, I’m working hard to make sure they won’t be the last.
In this edition of my newsletter, you will find information about: the launch of public consultations on ageism; the upcoming New Horizons for Seniors Program 2022–2023 call for proposals for community-based projects; COVID-19 booster doses; and the most recent travel advisory information.
Please take a moment to share this link with friends and colleagues so that they can sign up to receive my updates.
Thanks for reading and sharing.
Minister of Seniors
Important information for seniors
Launch of public consultations on ageism
Ageism is not often considered an issue of diversity and inclusion. As a result, age-based stigma and discrimination is often tolerated instead of denounced.
On August 15, the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors Forum launched public consultations in order to better understand and address the negative impacts of ageism toward older adults in Canada.
Canadians are invited to share their experience with ageism and potential solutions to address this issue through an online questionnaire until September 30, 2022. This public consultation will be followed by federal-, provincial- and territorial-led roundtables, community-led group discussions and engagement with members of First Nations, Métis and Inuit groups in the fall of 2022
These national consultations on ageism will play a key role in important conversations on ageism and misconceptions about aging in Canada.
For more information and to have your say in the ageism consultation please visit the public consultation webpage. Join the conversation and share your story on social media. #ShareYourStory #ChallengeAgeismInCanada
Upcoming New Horizons for Seniors Program 2022-2023 call for proposals for community-based projects
On September 21, 2022, the Government of Canada will launch the New Horizons for Seniors Program 2022–2023 call for proposals for community-based projects across Canada.
Organizations will be invited to apply for funding for programs supporting national priorities such as: healthy aging, preventing elder abuse, celebrating diversity and promoting inclusion and helping seniors age in place. The Program supports projects that address the following objectives:
- promoting volunteerism among seniors and other generations;
- engaging seniors in the community through mentoring;
- expanding awareness of elder abuse, including financial abuse;
- supporting the social participation and inclusion of seniors; and
- providing capital assistance for new and existing community projects and/or programs for seniors.
Organizations will have six weeks to submit their projects. The application process closes on November 1, 2022, at 3:00 p.m. EST. You can consult the ESDC Funding Programs page for more information.
Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines: Get a booster dose
While COVID-19 can make anyone sick, adults over the age of 65 are at higher risk of developing complications. Staying up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines remains the best line of defence against serious outcomes from COVID-19.
Protection from COVID-19 vaccines can decrease over time and be less effective against currently circulating variants. A booster dose increases your immune response and helps remind your immune system how to protect itself.
While it is possible to get sick with COVID-19 after getting a booster, it helps:
- to strengthen your body’s defences against the virus; and
- to provide strong protection against severe illness, hospitalization and death.
You should get vaccinated even if you’ve been previously infected or think you may have been infected. Although a previous COVID-19 infection can provide some protection, up-to-date vaccination—including booster doses—is recommended to provide longer-lasting, more effective protection against severe outcomes.
Check with your province or territory to see when you’re due for your next COVID-19 vaccine dose. Help strengthen your defences against serious illness by getting up to date with all the COVID-19 vaccination doses recommended for you.
- Video: Why do I need to get a COVID-19 booster dose?
- Social media images: Get the facts about COVID-19 booster doses
- Website: COVID-19 booster doses
Are you returning to Canada from abroad?
ArriveCAN continues to be mandatory for all travellers entering Canada.
Before arriving in Canada, regardless of how long you’ve been away, you must submit your information in ArriveCAN within 72 hours before arriving at the border (by air or land). If you are arriving by cruise ship, you must submit your information within 72 hours before boarding.
ArriveCAN is available to download for free as a mobile app on your smartphone or online at Canada.ca/arrivecan.
- If you don’t have a smartphone or don’t have mobile data, you can sign into the website through a computer, laptop or tablet. You can also ask another person, such as a friend or relative, for help to submit your information. You should print or take a screenshot of your ArriveCAN receipt and bring it with you when you travel.
You are reminded to ensure that you are using the latest version of ArriveCAN before submitting your mandatory information.
ArriveCAN is the only official Government of Canada platform that requires your contact, travel and health information before entering Canada. Recent improvements to the app are making it easier and faster to use:
- Travellers arriving at the Toronto Pearson or Vancouver airports are now able to save time by using the optional Advance CBSA Declaration feature in ArriveCAN to submit their customs and immigration declaration in advance of arrival. This option is available on the ArriveCAN mobile app and the web version, and it will be expanded to other airports in the coming months, including the Montréal-Trudeau International Airport.
- Frequent travellers are also encouraged to take advantage of the “saved traveller” feature in the ArriveCAN app. It allows a user to save travel documents and proof of vaccination information to reuse on future trips.
Find out how to create your ArriveCAN account, troubleshoot problems or contact Canada Border Services on the ArriveCAN help page.
Spread the word:
I hope you will take a minute to ensure that this message reaches as many older adults (and the people who support them) as possible. Please share it with your networks through social media, email or your newsletter. You can now sign up and invite others to sign up for the newsletter online.