A Message from the Minister of Seniors

May 4, 2020

Good day,

As Minister of Seniors, I wanted to reach out to you to share some of the initiatives we are undertaking to help seniors, their families and caregivers cope with the impacts of the COVID 19 pandemic. Please feel free to share this message with your networks.

I have been working closely with my Cabinet colleagues, consulting with the provinces and territories, experts, stakeholders and seniors to determine how the federal government can better provide support.

I also serve on the Ad Hoc COVID-19 Cabinet Committee so I can ensure that seniors’ concerns and needs are taken into account in decisions made at the Cabinet table.

Here are some of the measures the government has taken to help seniors and caregivers:

  • We worked with the provinces and territories to develop expert guidance on proper safety protocols for long-term care homes and for home care settings.
  • We are working with the provinces and territories to top up salaries for low-income essential workers temporarily—this will provide a much needed boost for workers caring for seniors.
  • We updated our New Horizons for Seniors Program so that community based programs can use their funding to help seniors navigate COVID 19.
  • We increased community supports for seniors by contributing $9 million through United Way so they can help seniors get things they need like groceries and medication. An additional $350 million investment was announced for the Emergency Community Support Fund to support vulnerable Canadians through organizations that deliver essential services to those in need, including seniors.
  • We introduced the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit to provide income support for Canadians, including seniors, who stopped working due to COVID 19. CPP, OAS or GIS payments do not affect eligibility.
  • We issued a special top-up payment under the Goods and Service Tax Credit, which will provide low and modest-income single seniors about $400 for and about $600 for senior couples on average.

This situation is constantly evolving and we are continuously updating our responses to address Canadians’ needs. I am committed to keeping you informed and updated on our COVID 19 response for seniors and will be sending you regular messages like this one over the coming weeks and months.

Your government is here for you. Together, we can and we will get through this.


Minister Deb Schulte