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Federal 2021 Budget Highlights For Canadian Seniors

Federal Budget 2021 Highlights summarized by National Institute on Ageing:

Today’s blog will highlight important 2021 budget information as it relates to Seniors.  I have used  the NIA COMMENTARY ON THE 2021 FEDERAL BUDGET[1]  as they have said better that I.

1.       Delivering an Apology to Canada’s Seniors 
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland started off the Budget 2021 address with an apology to seniors, stating “we have failed so many of those living in LTC facilities – to them – and to their families, let me say this, I am so sorry.” This was the federal government acknowledging the systemic shortcomings of long-term care (LTC) in Canada that the COVID-19 pandemic exposed. The pandemic has led to over 15,000 deaths across LTC settings, or 65% of Canada’s deaths to date.

2.    A Pledge of $3 Billion in Additional Funding to Improve the Quality and Infrastructure of Canada’s Long-Term Care Systems
Budget 2021 proposes spending $3 billion over five years, starting in 2022-23, on strengthening Canada’s LTC systems. The funds will specifically go to “support provinces and territories in ensuring standards for long-term care are applied and permanent changes are made”. The NIA has been advocating for systemic changes to Canada’s LTC system, through its Future of Long Term Care Reports (Report 1Report 2, 2019) and its latest National Seniors Strategy(2020). In addition, the NIA’s Director of Health Policy Research, Dr. Samir Sinha, was recently announced as the Chair of the Technical Committee that will be developing Canada’s new National LTC Services Standard. These new standards and practices, set to be finalized in 2022, will apply to the services and operations of LTC across Canada. Today’s funding will provide Canada’s provinces and territories with the additional financial support they need to enable the adoption of Canada’s new National LTC Services Standard.

3.    A Pledge to Expand Old Age Security Payments
Along with its commitments to strengthen its LTC systems, Budget 2021 proposes improving the financial security of older Canadians by increasing Old Age Security (OAS) payments. Specifically, Canadians aged 75 and over (as of June 2022), who are currently receiving monthly OAS payments, will qualify for an additional one-time payment of $500 in August 2021. It also proposes introducing legislation to increase regular OAS payments for Canadians 75 years and older by 10% “on an ongoing basis” as of July 2022. This will “give seniors more financial security later in life, particularly at the time when they face increased care expenses and greater risk of running out of savings”, Budget 2021 says.

4.    A Pledge to Invest More to Help Older Canadians Age at Home
Budget 2021 proposes providing $90 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, for Employment and Social Development Canada to launch the Age Well at Home initiative. This initiative will support community-based organizations to enable low-income seniors to age in place. This initiative would also support regional and national projects, that help expand services, which have already demonstrated results in helping seniors stay in their homes. The NIA has made substantial contributions in advocating for enabling seniors to age in place, most notably through its recent Bringing Long-Term Care Home Report (2020) – which proposes a virtual long-term care program that allows older Canadians to continue living at home.

5.    A Pledge to Help Tackle Elder Abuse
Budget 2021 also proposes to invest $50 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, for interventions that “promote safe relationships and prevent family violence, including intimate partner violence, child maltreatment, and elder abuse.” The NIA welcomes this investment as it has long advocated for increased efforts to end ageism and elder abuse in Canadian society, most notably through its report, Putting an End to Ageism and Elder Abuse Once and For All (2020).

6.    A Pledge to Improve Canada’s Health Data Capacity and Infrastructure 
Budget 2021 proposes to provide $41.3 million over six years, and $7.7 million annually, for Statistics Canada to strengthen data infrastructure and collection for health care. The NIA supports this investment and has made a significant contribution to the lack of data infrastructure through its LTC COVID-19 Outbreak Tracker. The tracker has been widely cited throughout the pandemic, most notably contributing to the recent NIA/Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) report: The Impact of COVID-19 on LTC in Canada Focus on the First 6 Months. Using NIA LTC Tracker data, this report illustrated the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 has had on LTC residents, staff, and family members.

By Natalie Iciaszczyk, Policy Analyst, and Cameron Feil, Research Coordinator

[1] Referenced April 19, 2021

About Audrey Miller
About: Audrey Miller, Managing Director of Elder Caring Inc. has over 25 years social work and rehabilitation experience working with older individuals and their families. She advises the financial, insurance, legal and business communities regarding elder care issues. Audrey is a recognized expert in her field. Email: amiller@eldercaring.ca

40 Comments

  1. Tina Coleman

    April 28, 2021 - 10:02 pm

    What’s with Trudeau and seniors 75. Do we, younger seniors 65 and older inconsequential? As a 72 year old I resent what he is doing and I hope all seniors 65-74 let him know and don’t support him in future. His actions towards all seniors over 65 is disgraceful.

    • Audrey Miller

      May 6, 2021 - 2:00 pm

      Thanks Tina, you are not alone in your sentiments!

      • John Greaves

        May 6, 2021 - 7:37 pm

        I am a low income senior aged 71 whose retirement investment has been severely reduced by covid and government policies to combat it. Non of the so called relief measures help me as my income is not employment based and now the government brags about helping seniors but only those over 75. ☹️

      • Deborah

        May 20, 2021 - 10:36 pm

        I agree I’m not 65 yet but still think this is unfair I’m on a disability pension and it is very hard.

    • Joanna Black

      May 6, 2021 - 9:55 pm

      I agree with you, he wants us to vote fir him, & we seniors get nothing, I’m 68 ,& I speak for all that are 65 + this is disgraceful, & disrespectful to all other seniors , We have a hard time as well, a loaf of bread is 3.00 , the price of everything is gone up, some have RRSP’S & other savings ,& some aren’t that lucky, they ljve check to check & barley make it on that…I think you should reconsider what you are doing, & I’m not prejudice, but I think that allowing ,thousands of immigrants into our country takes away from us Canadians, & their families..Enough is Enough. Mr Trudeau !! We Seniors deserve to be treated equally,,

    • Karen

      May 22, 2021 - 11:39 pm

      Well what about senior that are below 75 and living below poverty level. Trudeau is a real winner isn’t he. What false promises will he make next time to be re-elect. We in the western provinces need Ontario’s help to vote him out.

    • Mary-Ellen

      May 28, 2021 - 3:05 am

      My husband is 77 this year and I am 71. Why should I not be eligible for the August one time payment and the 10% increase in 2022? We are both retired and over 65 years old and eligible for OAS.

    • Gee

      June 4, 2021 - 4:27 am

      They kind of forgot the senior widows that have to pay skyrocket rents for benefits .
      Doing yard maintenance part of the rental lease can have its toll on well being.
      We don’t own or live in retirement because a lot of us can’t afford it,
      Maybe some light may sjphine on us one day.

  2. NALINE GOKUL

    May 3, 2021 - 9:25 pm

    I am interested in knowing what happens to seniors who is 65 years +. Are they consider seniors, I taught that Canada senior age starts at 65.
    What is the liberal government and the finance minister is doing when they say that the budget covers seniors.
    This is a very unfair act towards the low income seniors (if I can call them that or are they classified under a new age group).

    • Audrey Miller

      May 6, 2021 - 2:02 pm

      Thanks Naline. I don’t have the answer….. Many of us are asking the same questions.

  3. Marshall Dyke

    May 5, 2021 - 1:51 pm

    I turned 65 in March and my wife turned 65 in February 2021.
    What increases are there for us?

      • Avis

        May 19, 2021 - 2:18 am

        Whats in place for seniors under 75.
        We have to live also.

    • Sharon Burke

      May 10, 2021 - 8:52 pm

      I think it is disgraceful that not all seniors are included in this one time payment. I am 69 years old and had to retire due to health concerns. I would like to know why PM Trudeau did not include ALL seniors.)

  4. jim bellingham

    May 5, 2021 - 3:58 pm

    I’m 64, retired at 61, living on just a 24% reduced CPP and savings. The Trillium drug plan refused to do my “low income reassessment” on Jan. 1st 2018, my retirement date, when my income dropped 90%. OW refused me because my assets were over $15k. SO, my wife’s $6k/annum drugs are paid for by ME. SO, I turn 65 on Dec. 27th this year and get my OAS/GIS, in Jan, 2022, but my wife has to wait until Jan. 9th 2023 to qualify for the GIS Allowance, at 60. SO, WHAT exactly is in this budget for US? What happens to me at 75 that I require more money than I do now?

  5. Darlene Haywood

    May 6, 2021 - 1:31 pm

    What about seniors under 75? Any more one time payment in 2021?

  6. lois potoski

    May 9, 2021 - 7:26 pm

    what happened to 65 to 74 seniors, what are we nothing to the government. we have expenses medications and other bills to pay, cost of groceries going up what does a STEAK taste like mr prime minister

  7. Sharon Burke

    May 10, 2021 - 8:48 pm

    I think it is disgraceful that not all seniors are included in this one time payment. I am 69 years old and had to retire due to health concerns. I would like to know why PM Trudeau did not include ALL seniors.

  8. Roger Thordarson

    May 13, 2021 - 3:58 am

    everything costs a lot more, but apparently until we get to be 75 we don’t count!

  9. Phyllis Harris

    May 14, 2021 - 6:40 pm

    Me and my husband turn 70 this year. So we wouldn’t get the one time payment we stay in our home we have Bill we are on low income last year I spend ed 950 dollars on my teeth .now I have to get my platform teeth another 950 dollar . No help for me we get a little over 2thounsand a month that’s all. Where not 75 so we don’t get any Help

  10. Avis Laidley

    May 19, 2021 - 2:21 am

    What happen to seniors under 75. We neef to live also.

  11. Tina Compton

    May 21, 2021 - 12:09 pm

    I am a single 74year old I was hoping for a dental plan i have to have all my teeth out in June $900.00 in September if I want to get dentures it will cost $ 2600.00 because I didnt have Dentures before I retired looks like soup and jello is on the horizen Mr Prime Minister what help do you give to people like me.

  12. Allan Smith

    May 26, 2021 - 11:14 am

    So true This is discriminating against us 65+ also have had cost go up with no help

  13. Frances (Barb) Oryniak

    May 29, 2021 - 1:24 am

    Would this new budget not be Elder abuse to seniors under 75 yrs ? And why can’t a class action law suit be brought forward by all of seniors for this abuse against Trudeau and the Liberals? Just wondering !!

  14. M. Nicol

    May 31, 2021 - 6:48 pm

    What can I do to let the “Government” know that these changes for those 75 and older (only) is unfair to all retired Canadians? How can they think that they are being helpful? They give with one hand and take it back in income tax.

  15. Gerald D Sebastian

    June 3, 2021 - 3:49 pm

    Yes what about Seniors ( UNDER 75 ) Are we the forgotten ones I like the Liberals should rethink this and put the Payments to SENIORS 65 and up.

  16. Gigi

    June 4, 2021 - 5:05 am

    A senior widow with one pension struggles with sky high rental accommodation kind of gets to be an oversight compared to a couple renting with two incomes.
    Yard maintenance certainly doesn’t add to our healthy well being, when we shovel snow every day and cut grass that at times we see stars.
    Most of us can’t afford to live in retirement places, and owing a place is a dream.
    Maybe one day we will be noticed.
    Shine on us senior star!

  17. Wanda

    June 8, 2021 - 10:09 pm

    I’m 62 I get my survivors CPP and the survivors Pension I don’t lowing come I guess we don’t count

  18. joanne gordanier

    June 12, 2021 - 9:03 pm

    people over 75 can not work and us who are disablied can’t make extra money to eat or pay bills im sorry for you people who don’t like the idea of seniors over 75 getting this bit of extra money to help us out we also had to put out lots of extra money to make sure we had every thing in our homes when virus hit im 77 i never got much from gov all theses years so why regruge us a little extra from gov.im sorry you people feel this way but he must of had his reasons for doing this not sure what but im sure he did sorry you feel this way people

  19. Rose macGillivray

    June 17, 2021 - 1:37 pm

    I think it is disgraceful the Government issues 500 to Seniors 75plus, what about 65plus, we pay the same as they do for essentials in life, left a message last night but do not see it this morning. Mr Trudeau you should be ashamed of yourself for only choosing one group of Seniors, we all struggle on low pensions, please reconsider this, there is plenty of time to do so

  20. Bonnie Legault

    June 22, 2021 - 6:45 am

    So how did this government decide that a two-tier system for pensioners was fair? Do you not think that people aged 65 to 74 have had additional expenses, especially with COVID and the increasing cost of food, utilities, drugs, gas, and the carbon tax. This group of people do not all have an awesome pension plan or thousands in a savings plan. The majority have worked hard throughout their lives to provide for their families. I am disappointed that this is the way the Canadian government wants to treat this group of pensioners. This is discrimination at its finest! You want Canadians to treat each other equally – then walk the talk and set the example.

  21. Norma FRASIER

    June 23, 2021 - 9:58 pm

    I’m am baffled as to why the government has created a two tiered system for seniors. I called my M.P.’s office and was told that seniors over 75 are more in need of extra money, although they were at a loss to provide an example of this. Seriously?
    Government bailouts for corporations, and money left and right for all other sectors, and yet nothing for the 65 to 74 age group. Call your MP and make it known that we are not satisfied with being the forgotten.
    Mr. Trudeau this is discriminatory! Please remember, we vote and we remember!