Mandate letter progress: Seniors’ Secretariat
The Minister’s response letter to Premier Wynne, outlining the results achieved on key mandate priorities in 2014-15.
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January 11, 2016
The Honourable Kathleen Wynne
Premier of Ontario
Room 281, Main Legislative Building
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.
|Mandate Letter Commitment||Progress to Date|
|Continue to engage with seniors communities across the province.|
|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 ).|
|Listen to the voices of seniors and take their views into consideration when shaping policies and programs.|
|Work with other ministers to bring seniors’ perspectives forward as they develop policies and programs that impact seniors.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|Continuing to implement the Retirement Homes Act, 2010 and providing ongoing oversight of the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority.|
|Providing seniors’ perspectives on housing issues to the ministers of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Health and Long-Term Care.|
|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.|
|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.|
|Support: Advising and supporting the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care on improving dementia supports, including new memory clinics.|
|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.|