The Throne Speech through a seniors lens
Stiff Criminal Code penalties for those who neglect seniors; new national standards for long term care; and OAS increases for those 75 and better were identified as federal government goals in the Speech from the Throne delivered today.
Reading the speech, Governor General Julie Payette said: “The last six months have laid bare fundamental gaps in our society, and in societies around the world. This pandemic has been hard for everyone. But for those who were already struggling, the burden has been even heavier.”
That, Payette said, includes “seniors who are isolated, frightened, and most at risk.”
“Central to this is recognizing that one of the greatest tragedies of this pandemic is the lives lost in long-term care homes. Elders deserve to be safe, respected, and live in dignity.
“Although long-term care falls under provincial and territorial jurisdiction, the federal government will take any action it can to support seniors while working alongside the provinces and territories.
“The Government will work with Parliament on Criminal Code amendments to explicitly penalize those who neglect seniors under their care, putting them in danger.”
The Government will also:
- Work with the provinces and territories to set new, national standards for long-term care so that seniors get the best support possible;
- Take additional action to help people stay in their homes longer. The Government remains committed to increasing Old Age Security once a senior turns 75, and boosting the Canada Pension Plan survivor’s benefit;
- Look at further targeted measures for personal support workers who do an essential service helping the most vulnerable in our communities. Canada must better value their work and their contributions to our society.
COVID-19 has disproportionately affected Canadians with disabilities, and highlighted long-standing challenges. The Government will bring forward a Disability Inclusion Plan, which will have a new Canadian Disability Benefit modelled after the Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors.