January 11, 2016

The Honourable Kathleen Wynne
Premier of Ontario
Room 281, Main Legislative Building
Queen’s Park
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1A1

Dear Premier:

It gives me great pleasure to report substantial progress toward achieving the key priorities outlined in your mandate letter to me of September 25, 2014.

The number of seniors in Ontario is expected to double to more than four million by 2041. Over the past year, I have worked with my officials at the Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat (OSS) to make Ontario the best place in the world to grow older, to ensure that seniors have the supports they need to lead active, safe and involved lives full of dignity and quality, and to bring a seniors’ lens to new and emerging public policy.

Developing Services and Supports for Seniors

  • Invested more than $3 million to date in 544 projects benefitting approximately 116,000 seniors under the Seniors Community Grant Program and provided a revised Guide to Programs and Services for Seniors in Ontario in 16 languages.
  • Launched the Age-Friendly Community Planning Grant Program, which is providing $1.5 million in funding over two years for 56 projects to help local governments and organizations plan for more accessible and inclusive communities.
  • Provided $200,000 to the Age-Friendly Communities Outreach Initiative to help communities and organizations adopt age-friendly planning principles.
  • Supported the Premier’s Community Hubs Framework Advisory Group and provided specific input regarding the potential intersection of the Elderly Persons’ Centres Program and the community hubs initiative.
  • Engaged in reviews of the Elderly Persons Centres Program, Elder Abuse Strategy and the Retirement Homes Act to enhance the effectiveness of these key seniors’ initiatives.

Supporting Seniors Health and Wellness

  • Worked closely with the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care on an ongoing basis to ensure that health care services provided in homes and communities reflect the needs of seniors.
  • Supported community wellness through an $11.5 million investment in Elderly Persons Centres and Healthy Living Fairs, and helped provide dementia supports through enhancements to the Finding Your Way program to reduce risks of wandering.

Building Retirement Security

  • Worked with the Associate Minister of Finance to develop and consult on the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan to provide additional security for seniors in their retirement.

Premier, these are just the highlights of a very busy and productive year implementing the priorities you assigned to me. I will continue to engage government colleagues on initiatives and commitments related to seniors, deliver quality public services, and build opportunity and a strong future for all Ontarians.


Signature of Mario Sergio

Mario Sergio

Results achieved

Mandate Letter CommitmentProgress to Date
Continue to engage with seniors communities across the province.
  • Continued engagement through the Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat Liaison Committee (OSSLC), composed of 11 of Ontario’s major seniors’ organizations and chaired by the Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat Assistant Deputy Minister.
  • Quarterly meetings provide a forum for two-way communication with Ontario’s largest seniors organizations in relation to government policies, programs and services.
Continue to work with our many stakeholders (among them, the Canadian Association of Retired Persons, Ontario Coalition of Senior Citizens’ Organizations, Alzheimer’s Society, Ontario Retirement Communities Association, Older Adults Centres’ Association of Ontario, Elder Abuse Ontario, Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors, Advocacy Centre for the Elderly and Ontario Long-Term Care Association ).
  • Continued engagement through the OSSLC.
  • Engaged stakeholders in initiatives, such as Elderly Persons Centres Program, Elder Abuse Strategy and Retirement Homes Act (RHA) reviews and development of Age-Friendly Communities (AFC) Planning Grant.
Listen to the voices of seniors and take their views into consideration when shaping policies and programs.
  • Continued engagement through the OSSLC. In the summer of 2015, held six Regional Roundtable discussions in six communities on Elder Abuse Strategy Review and 12 in-person consultations on Elderly Persons Centres Program Review receiving input from close to 500 stakeholders.
Work with other ministers to bring seniors’ perspectives forward as they develop policies and programs that impact seniors.
  • Action Plan for Seniors serves as framework to help inform a co-ordinated cross-government approach to seniors’ policy and programs.
  • Assisting other ministries, e.g., OSS partner on the Ministry of Transportation’s Community Transportation Pilot Grant Program, work on the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (Ministry of Finance) and Family Caregiver Leave (Ministry of Labour).
  • OSSLC provides a forum for ministries’ initiatives.
Working with seniors and community partners to successfully deliver the Seniors Community Grant Program, which will help seniors stay engaged and connected to their communities. We are doubling funding for this program to $1 million per year, as announced in the 2014 Budget.
  • Since its launch in 2014, increased funding from $500,000 to $2 million (funding was doubled from $500,000 to $1 million in the 2014 Budget, and doubled again to $2 million in the 2015 Budget).
  • To date, invested $3 million in up to 546 projects benefitting approximately 116,000 seniors across the province.
Continuing to strengthen and promote the role of elderly persons centres. These centres ensure that seniors have ready access to places in their community that promote healthy, active aging and wellness.
  • During the Elderly Persons Centres Program Review, conducted over 50 hours of consultations in 12 communities and have received input from close to 300 stakeholders on how to strengthen Ontario’s Elderly Persons Centres network.
Continuing to provide strong leadership for initiatives related to age-friendly communities, elder abuse, and wandering prevention for persons with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
  • Continued support for AFCs through the launch of the AFC Planning Grant Program, providing $1.5 million over two years to 56 projects and investing $200,000 in AFC Outreach Initiative.
  • Held six roundtables (200 stakeholders) to help renew Ontario’s Strategy to Combat Elder Abuse. Expanded reach of Finding Your Way (Wandering Prevention) Program in partnership with Alzheimer Society of Ontario.
Support: Developing clear government policy on community hubs. You will work with the ministers of Health and Long-Term Care, Education, the Associate Minister of Long-Term Care and Wellness and other ministers to consult with stakeholders when developing this policy. I ask that the policy promote the efficient use of public assets and build better ties between schools, municipalities and other community organizations — including those that provide services to seniors.
  • Supports government Special Advisor and multi-ministry Advisory Group.
  • Facilitated special meeting of OSSLC in June 2015 on topic of Community Hubs.
  • Encouraged seniors’ organizations and key stakeholders to provide input to Community Hubs Secretariat.
Continuing to implement the Retirement Homes Act, 2010 and providing ongoing oversight of the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority.
  • Undertaking statutory five-year review of Retirement Homes Act (RHA). Consultation paper posted on Regulatory Registry and OSS’ website in August 2015 to invite public feedback until September 30, 2015.
  • Ongoing oversight of Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA).
Providing seniors’ perspectives on housing issues to the ministers of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Health and Long-Term Care.
  • Ongoing engagement with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH). Facilitated presentations by MMAH at OSSLC meeting on housing topics, e.g.,, Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy consultations (spring/summer 2015).
Working closely with the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care to ensure that health care services provided in homes and communities reflect the needs of seniors.
  • Ongoing engagement with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC). MOHLTC staff attend OSSLC meetings for a direct link to seniors’ organizations on health related issues.
  • Home and community care is a key priority in the Action Plan for Health Care.
Support: Support the Associate Minister of Health and Long-Term Care (Long-Term Care and Wellness) to develop a strategy on community wellness, including supports and programs to help seniors stay active and healthy.
  • MOHLTC-led initiative. Aligns with Elderly Persons Centres (EPC) Program Review.
  • Aligns with Seniors Information and Active Living Fairs. In 2015-16, OSS provided $165,000 to the Older Adult Centres’ Association of Ontario for coordination and delivery of 61 fairs, directly reaching approximately 15,000 attendees.
  • Promoted Seniors’ Month each June, encouraging healthy living and raising awareness of programs and services.
Support: Advising and supporting the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care on improving dementia supports, including new memory clinics.
  • MOHLTC-led initiative. Aligns with OSS delivered Finding Your Way program to reduce risks of wandering.
Support: Working with the Associate Minister of Finance (Ontario Retirement Pension Plan) to create the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan. The plan will help provide additional financial security to our seniors in their retirement.
  • Supported Ministry of Finance-led work to develop and consult on the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP).
  • OSSLC acted as a forum for two-way communication with Ontario’s largest seniors organizations in relation to government policies, programs and services.