FEWO Committee Report
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LIST OF RECOMMENDATIONS
As a result of their deliberations committees may make recommendations which they include in their reports for the consideration of the House of Commons or the Government. Recommendations related to this study are listed below.
That the Government of Canada continue to address the pay disparities between men and women in the workforce by placing a priority on pay equity and ensuring more financial security for women later in life.
That the Government of Canada ensure that current support and tax credits for caregivers are meeting the needs of families caring for seniors.
That the Government of Canada, with the goal of ensuring a financially secure retirement for everyone in Canada and recognizing the value of unpaid caregiving work, create provisions like the drop-out from Employment Insurance in the Canada Pension Plan and/or tax benefits for individuals who stay at home to care for family members, including for those who do so full-time, to participate meaningfully in this contributory program; the definition of caregivers should include spouses, children, grandchildren, and Indigenous Elders.
That the Government of Canada consider making changes to the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) and Old Age Security (OAS) program to improve senior women’s economic security, such as:
- ensuring that senior women who are financially vulnerable, including those who are newcomers to Canada, are aware of and have access to OAS; and
- examining extending GIS benefits of a deceased recipient to a surviving spouse for a few months to allow the surviving spouse to restructure their personal finances.
That the Government of Canada examine the development of a Seniors Entrepreneurship Program (possibly through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy) and provide supports and services to older women to start their own businesses or develop particular skills.
That the Government of Canada consider removing the requirement for mandatory minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds that comes into effect at the end of a person’s 71st year to ensure that seniors who choose to work past the age of 70 or who have other sources of income are not required to make the minimum withdrawals.
That the Government of Canada examine disability-related benefits and tax measures to ensure that persons living with disabilities are not penalized financially for increasing the number of hours they work in paid employment.
That the Government of Canada continue to apply a gender-based analysis plus lens to the development of all policies and programs related to seniors, and develop programs to address the specific needs of minority women and members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Two-Spirit community.
That the Government of Canada work with the National Seniors Council and other stakeholders, including women, to develop a national seniors strategy that addresses the needs of Canada’s senior population, ensures the equitable provision of supports and services across the country, and considers the unique needs of women, minority groups and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Two-Spirit community.
That the Government of Canada continue to ensure that the specific housing needs of seniors are addressed and prioritized through the National Housing Strategy, with consideration for the intersectional needs of groups such as women, minority communities and members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Two‑Spirit community, and gather data to close the knowledge gap on senior women living alone.
That the Government of Canada continue to support the National Seniors Council to increase awareness and understanding of the social isolation of seniors, and continue the increased funding for the New Horizons for Seniors program to support seniors-driven projects to combat social isolation and help seniors, including senior women living in rural and remote communities and immigrant women, to continue to participate fully in the community.
That the Government of Canada, as part of the government’s investment in transportation infrastructure, work with provinces and territories to address the lack of transportation options for seniors living in rural and remote communities.
That the Government of Canada continue to include lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and two-spirit older and aging individuals in intersectional research that previously only involved women.
That the Government of Canada ensure that government-supported research and study of aging and seniors issues apply a gender-based analysis plus lens to gather better data to help guide more informed policy decisions.
That the Government of Canada, in collaboration with provinces and territories, ensure equitable access for all seniors to hearing health care and assistive devices, and work with appropriate agencies to increase public awareness to prevent hearing loss, to identify and manage hearing loss and to destigmatize hearing loss.
That the Government of Canada continue to build on Canada’s National Dementia Strategy and the work of the Ministerial Advisory Board on Dementia to ensure Canada is tackling the increasing level of dementia in Canada’s aging population.
That the Government of Canada develop a strategy to combat the issue of malnutrition for seniors and encourage access to healthy and nutritious food.
That the Government of Canada develop culturally specific and appropriate multilingual support services specifically for older women and support the development of orientation programs to help older women and their families navigate the complexities of the justice, immigration and health care systems.
That the Government of Canada continue to develop initiatives to promote healthy aging for women, including physical programs and mental health support programs.
That the Government of Canada provide funding to ensure access to services that meet the mental health needs of diverse groups of seniors, including members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Two-Sspirit communities, as well as women living with disabilities and Indigenous women, and work with provincial and territorial governments to ensure that diverse groups of seniors have access to safe spaces in health care settings.
That the Government of Canada pursue options to help seniors and Canadians with the high cost of prescription drugs, including a national pharmacare program, and ensure that the development and implementation of a national pharmacare plan takes into consideration the specific needs of senior women, including financial barriers from out-of-pocket payments for medication.
That the Government of Canada, in collaboration with the provinces and territories, examine issues of diversity in access to home and community care, with particular consideration for the unique needs of diverse senior women, to ensure that their specific home and community care needs are met.
That the Government of Canada work with Northern and Indigenous communities to improve access to culturally sensitive and appropriate long-term, residential and palliative care facilities in their communities, and work to ensure that, when Elders must leave their community for care, they have access to culturally appropriate food and community support.
That the Government of Canada examine the experience of other countries that have appointed either a seniors’ advocate or seniors’ ombudsman, and whether this office would be beneficial in Canada.
That the Government of Canada recognize the issue of ageism that exists in our society and adversely affects the senior population and develop a strategic campaign to work to end this stigma in Canada.
That the Government of Canada develop programs to raise awareness of elder abuse and ensure that seniors are aware of the resources and support that are available to them.
That the Government of Canada work with its provincial and territorial partners to ensure that culturally and age-appropriate services, including shelters and transition houses as well as legal aid, are available for all senior women who experience any form of violence, regardless of where they live.