Minister Tassi announces funding to support LGBTQ2 seniors

Barrie, Ontario-Seniors have played a central part in building this country and deserve the best quality of life possible, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. That is why the Government of Canada is dedicated to working with organizations that support the needs of Canadians seniors, including LGBTQ2 seniors.

Today, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Seniors, announced more than $3 million in funding through the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) to support a project that will help address discrimination and increase social inclusion of LGBTQ2 seniors in Central and Northeastern Ontario.

Over the next five years, the Gilbert Centre, in Barrie, will work with community partners to develop coping strategies, engage LGBTQ2 seniors, help them develop strong social networks in their community and provide them with access to appropriate LGBTQ2-friendly services and support.

The Centre is one of 22 successful applicants resulting from a call for concepts launched in December 2018 through the NHSP pan-Canadian funding stream. Up to $60 million in funding over five years is available for these projects, which are expected to begin in the fall of 2019.

Through Budget 2019, the Government of Canada announced an additional $100 million over five years for the NHSP, with $20 million per year ongoing to enhance the social inclusion of seniors. The new funding will help support more projects across the country that make a difference in the lives of Canadian seniors.

Quotes
“Supporting the health and well-being of Canadian seniors is a priority for our government. Through the New Horizons for Seniors Program, our government is working with organizations, such as the Gilbert Centre, to break down barriers, promote social inclusion and address the unique challenges faced by LGBTQ2 seniors. Together, we are making a difference and building a stronger and more inclusive Canada.”
– The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Seniors

“The Gilbert Project will be a vital support for aging community members. This project will work to address the stigma and discrimination that can impose barriers on LGBTQ2 seniors. This investment will help to advance the conversation about access to healthcare, housing and social support for older Canadians, and to enhance overall quality of life of LGBTQ2 seniors. An inclusive Canada is a Canada for people from all walks of life.”
– Member of Parliament Randy Boissonnault, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 issues

Quick facts
It is expected that this project will reach more than 400 LGTBQ2 seniors in Central and Northeastern Ontario.

The NHSP is a federal grants and contributions program whose goal is to support projects that help improve the well-being and quality of life of seniors, and foster social inclusion and engagement of Canadian seniors in all aspects of society.

The Program’s pan-Canadian stream supports organizations that develop collaborative and innovative approaches to increase the social inclusion of seniors.

To date, the pan-Canadian projects have engaged and connected more than 47,000 seniors to supports and services in their communities to reduce social isolation. As well, more than 5,600 professionals and volunteers have been trained to identify, support and respond to the needs of seniors.

Seniors are the fastest-growing demographic group in Canada. By 2031, close to one quarter of Canadians could be 65 years of age or older. According to census estimates, there are approximately 335,000 self-reported LGBTQ2 seniors in Canada.