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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

12 Comments

  1. Tina Coleman

    April 28, 2021 - 10:02 pm
    Reply

    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
      Reply

      Thanks Tina, you are not alone in your sentiments!

  2. NALINE GOKUL

    May 3, 2021 - 9:25 pm
    Reply

    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
      Reply

      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
    Reply

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

  4. jim bellingham

    May 5, 2021 - 3:58 pm
    Reply

    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
    Reply

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

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