Update from Canada’s Minister of Seniors, Kamal Khera

Hello,

Canada owes seniors a great deal, and the Government of Canada continues to take significant action to support them. I want to share some of the highlights for seniors in Budget 2022, the Government of Canada’s plan to make life more affordable for all Canadians.

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.

The Minister of Seniors,
Kamal Khera

Important information for seniors:

Expanded New Horizons for Seniors Program
We know that older Canadians want to stay active and engaged in their communities as they age. The New Horizons for Seniors Program, which has supported more than 33,500 projects in hundreds of communities across Canada since 2004, helps them do so.

In Budget 2022, we are proposing $20 million over two years, beginning in the 2022 to 2023 fiscal year, for an expanded New Horizons for Seniors Program. This will support more projects that improve the quality of life for seniors and help them continue to fully participate in their communities.

Doubling the Home Accessibility Tax Credit
Seniors and persons with disabilities deserve the opportunity to live and age at home, but renovations and upgrades that make homes safe and accessible can be costly. The Home Accessibility Tax Credit provides support to offset some of these costs.

Budget 2022 proposes to double the qualifying expense limit of the Home Accessibility Tax Credit to $20,000 for the 2022 and subsequent tax years. This will mean a tax credit of up to $3,000—an increase from the previous tax credit of up to $1,500—for important accessibility renovations or alterations. This will help make significant alterations and renovations more affordable including:

  • the purchase and installation of wheelchair ramps, walk-in bathtubs and wheel-in showers;
  • widening doorways and hallways to allow for the passage of a wheelchair or walker;
  • building a bedroom or a bathroom to permit first-floor occupancy; and
  • installing non-slip flooring to help avoid falls.

Aging at home
Many seniors prefer to stay in their own homes for as long as possible. That’s why, in Budget 2022, we have proposed the creation of an expert panel to study the idea of an Aging at Home Benefit. The panel will report to the Minister of Seniors and the Minister of Health. More details will be provided in the months to come.

Making housing more affordable
Everyone should have a safe and affordable place to call home. Increasing our housing supply will be key to making housing more affordable for everyone. Budget 2022 proposes to advance $2.9 billion in funding, on a cash basis, under the National Housing Co-Investment Fund. This will accelerate the creation of up to 4,300 new units and the repair of up to 17,800 units for Canadians who need them most, such as seniors and persons with disabilities.

As part of its broader efforts to make life more affordable for Canadians, the Government recognizes that many are in need of additional assistance. To support those struggling with housing costs, Budget 2022 proposes to provide $475 million in the 2022 to 2023 fiscal year to provide a one-time $500 payment to those facing housing affordability challenges.

Multigenerational Home Renovation Tax Credit
To support families across the country who have different generations living together, Budget 2022 proposes to introduce a Multigenerational Home Renovation Tax Credit, which would provide up to $7,500 in support for constructing a secondary suite for a senior or an adult with a disability.

Starting in 2023, this refundable credit would allow families to claim 15% of up to $50,000 in eligible renovation and construction costs incurred in order to construct a secondary suite.

Connecting senior workers to good jobs
The Government intends to engage with experts on the role that a Career Extension Tax Credit could play in boosting the labour force participation of seniors who want to continue to work later in life.

Dental care for Canadians
Seeing a dentist is important for our health, but it can be expensive. Budget 2022 proposes to provide funding of $5.3 billion over five years, starting in the 2022 to 2023 fiscal year, and $1.7 billion ongoing, to Health Canada, to provide dental care for Canadians. This will start with children under 12 in 2022, and then expand to children under 18, seniors, and persons living with a disability in 2023, with full implementation by 2025. The program would be restricted to families with an income of less than $90,000 annually, with no co-pays for those earning under $70,000 annually in income.

Improving Canada’s dementia and brain health research
An estimated one in four Canadian seniors over the age of 85 are diagnosed with dementia. The effects on both those living with dementia and those who care for them can be devastating.

Budget 2022 proposes to provide $20 million over five years, starting in the 2022 to 2023 fiscal year, for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to ramp up efforts to learn more about dementia and brain health, to improve treatments and outcomes for persons living with dementia, and to evaluate and address mental health consequences for caregivers and different models of care.

Budget 2022 proposes to provide $30 million over three years, starting in the 2022 to 2023 fiscal year, to the Public Health Agency of Canada for the Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation to help accelerate innovations in brain health and aging.

Supporting mental well-being with the Wellness Together Canada portal
Since April 2020, more than 2 million people across Canada have accessed free information and support through the Wellness Together Canada portal. Budget 2022 proposes to provide $140 million over two years, starting in the 2022 to 2023 fiscal year, to Health Canada for the Wellness Together Canada portal so it can continue to provide Canadians with tools and services to support their mental health and well-being.

Federal health care support during the pandemic
Since the start of the pandemic, the federal government has invested more than $69 billion, with more funding to be rolled out in future years, to lead a coordinated federal, provincial and territorial response to fight COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of Canadians. For example, we provided up to $4 billion through the 2020 Fall Economic Statement and Budget 2021 for provinces and territories to help keep seniors safe in long-term care.

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.

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