It was such a pleasure for me to stop by the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition Volunteer appreciation dinner in Thunder Bay last week. I was glad to have the chance to thank all the volunteers for making our community great, and also wish happy birthday to Isabelle Barrett, who turned 100 years old on Saturday! Attending the dinner was a great reminder of all the contributions seniors make to our community, as many who have retired choose to give back by volunteering their time.
I am proud to be part of a government that recognizes the enormous contributions of seniors to the building of our communities and our country. We will continue to work hard for seniors and their caregivers, and ensure that they enjoy the secure and dignified retirement they deserve. That is why we have taken meaningful action to support our seniors and increase their opportunities to maintain a high quality of living.
As part of our commitment to help seniors live healthy, active, and independent lives, we have made investments in the construction and refurbishing of affordable seniors housing, and are working with the provinces, territories, and others to help communities become more age-friendly. We also created the new Canada Caregiver Credit to make it easier for Canadians to take time off work to care for a sick or elderly relative. Finally, to help seniors stay independent for longer and receive care in their homes whenever possible, we made historic investments in dedicated funding for mental health and home care services totaling more than $11 billion over 10 years.
Our government also supported the passage of M-106, which calls for the development of a National Seniors Strategy. As a result, the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities is currently undertaking a study with a view towards the creation of this strategy. I am looking forward to the committee’s recommendations.
We know there is still more work to be done and we will continue to listen to stakeholders and all Canadians when it comes to seniors care, and work to better support seniors now and in the future.