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Federal Budget 2022

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A new federal budget is a golden opportunity to stand up for seniors. Did the government rise to the occasion?

Let’s take a closer look at how the new budget is investing in older Canadians across the country.

The last couple of years have been a watershed moment for older adults in Canada. Throughout the pandemic, we’ve been advocating for the federal government to work hand in hand with the provinces and territories, setting aside jurisdictional divides in favour of quick response on issues ranging from the long-term care crisis to affordable housing and pension protection. The message from Ottawa has been that the Prime Minister and his newly appointed cabinet understand the challenges faced by people like you on the ground, and that the necessary change is coming.

Now that the new federal budget has been revealed, it’s time for the government to put its money where its mouth is, showing a true commitment to improving the lives of older Canadians and caregivers by making the right investments in the right places.

We’ve summarized the key information that affects our members and their families right here on this page as it becomes available.
 
For easy reference, we’re outlining our priority list of things we wanted to see in the 2022 federal budget below.
 
You can read our pre-budget submission to the federal government, which plans out a solid course of action to protect the rights and well-being of Canadians. All of the recommendations we made come from our comprehensive policy platform, VOICES: A Roadmap to an Age-Inclusive Canada, and from real conversations with people like you from coast-to-coast.

“This is a watershed moment for Canadian seniors. A new budget is a golden opportunity for the federal government to show that it’s committed to helping older Canadians get back on their feet as our economy starts on the road to recovery after a terrible two years. Targeted investments in affordable housing, home accessibility renovation tax credits, dental care and dementia research are welcome investments. However, with costs rising dramatically, it’s a surprise that seniors’ affordability and pension protection is noticeably missing.”

Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO

What would a “senior-friendly” budget look like?

Unfortunately, for an advocate, it’s basically unheard of to get everything you want in a budget.

When deciding how well a budget serves the needs of older Canadians, it helps to do a couple of layers of analysis:

Major Priorities. This is the simplified short list of “top line” items we’re pushing for in our pre-budget recommendations. If we get these, we’re very happy.

Other (also important) Items. These recommendations are just as important, but there are a lot more of them. We want all of these things on behalf of our members, but it’s highly unlikely they’ll all be in the budget.

Because you’re limited on how much you can ask for in your pre-budget submission, some of these things can’t make it onto the short list. If we get any of these things on top of the major priorities, we’re even happier.

Major Priorities

VViolence and Abuse Prevention

  • Provide funding for elder abuse and neglect response in par with domestic violence funding
  • Support and implement a National Elder Abuse Response Strategy (NEARS)

O Optimal Health and Wellness

  • Make targeted investments in health care to improve access to primary care, and virtual care for older Canadians. Include targeted funding to support continence; cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care; arthritis prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care; vision; hearing and sleep health.
  • Create a  National Seniors’ Strategy to respond to the pressing needs of our rapidly aging population.
  • Implement and adequately fund the National Dementia Strategy for operationalization. Create measurable goals and funding milestones

IInfection Control and Disaster Prevention

  • Invest in technology and innovation in vaccine research, tracking, and uptake
C– Caregiving, Long Term Care and Housing Resources
  • Create a new dedicated Seniors Care Transfer to be negotiated with the provinces/territories by designating specific federal funds for home, community, and LTC.
  • Significantly increase funding to allow for implementation of new National Standards for Long-term Care and integrate this work with new federal long-term care legislation.
  • Update the National Housing Strategy to include seniors’ housing, housing with supports, inter-generational and “home-sharing” options

EEconomic Security

  • Protect the pension funds of workers as privileged creditors by amending the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, and the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.
  • Operationalize modern tax and pension policies, increasing options for flexible retirement.

S – Social Inclusion 

  • Create a pan-Canadian Anti-Ageism Campaign
  • Continue prioritization and investment in rural digital connectivity
  • Invest in accessible age-inclusive public transportation infrastructure
C– Caregiving, Long Term Care and Housing Resources
  • Create a new dedicated Seniors Care Transfer to be negotiated with the provinces/territories by designating specific federal funds for home, community, and LTC.
  • Significantly increase funding to allow for implementation of new National Standards for Long-term Care and integrate this work with new federal long-term care legislation.
  • Update the National Housing Strategy to include seniors’ housing, housing with supports, inter-generational and “home-sharing” options

Other Items

If you want to do a deeper dive, you can find everything we asked for in our budget scoreboard below.

Federal Budget Scoreboard

What we asked for and what we got in an easy-to-understand format.

Win = Everything we asked for on this recommendation is in the budget. A big win for seniors!

Partial Win = Some of what we asked for on this recommendation is in the budget, but not everything.

Loss = None of what we asked for on this recommendation was in the budget. A big miss for seniors!

This table will be updated after the budget has been announced.

CanAge Recommendation Win Partial Win Loss
Violence and Abuse Prevention
Establish and fund the Federal Office of the Seniors’ Advocate. The Seniors’ Advocate should provide systemic oversight and leadership on issues related to the current needs of Canadian seniors, as well as provide insight, analysis, and direction to the government on the future needs of our aging population.X
Funding. Provide funding for elder abuse and neglect response in par with domestic violence fundingX
Criminal Charges. Create and implement dedicated elder abuse Criminal Code chargesX
Data Reporting. Require federal, federally-funded or regulated agencies to collect desegregated data on elder abuse and report these findings to Statistics Canada for analysis and timely publicationX
PIPEDA. Amend PIPEDA to better allow financial institutions to report abuse. Amend s. 7(3)(d.3) to, a) define “financial elder abuse” and “mental capacity”, b) update the list to whom disclosure can be made, and c) harmonize language with provincial / territorial legislationX
Awareness. Support and implement a National Elder Abuse Response Strategy (NEARS)X
Research. Fund research to understand and respond to elder abuse, including funding the NICE networkX
Optimal Health and WellnessWinPartial WinLoss
Targeted investments in healthcare. Make targeted investments in health care to improve access to primary care, and virtual care for older Canadians. Include targeted funding to support continence; cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care; arthritis prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care; vision; hearing and sleep health.X
Support Innovative Mental Health Interventions. Move forward with the proposal from Budget 2021 to provide $100 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, to the Public Health Agency of Canada to support projects for innovative mental health interventions for populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including health care workers, front-line workers, youth, seniors, Indigenous people, and racialized and Black Canadians.X
Health and Human Resources Strategy. On a priority basis, create a national Health and Human Resources Strategy and a National Seniors' Strategy to respond to the pressing needs of our rapidly aging population.X
National Seniors’ Strategy. Create a National Seniors' Strategy to respond to the pressing needs of our rapidly aging population.X
Support Dementia-focused Organizations. Work with, and provide support to, dementia-focused organizations. Implement the Budget 2022 recommendations of the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada.X
Implement and adequately fund the National Dementia Strategy. Implement and adequately fund the National Dementia Strategy for operationalization. Create measurable goals and funding milestones.X
Technology and Digital Supports. Prioritize investment in technology and digital supports for seniors and caregivers.X
Fund the Palliative Care Strategy. Move forward with the proposal from Budget 2021 to provide $29.8 million over six years, starting in 2021-22, to Health Canada to advance the government’s palliative care strategy and lay a better foundation for coordinated action on long-term and supportive care needs, improving access to quality palliative care.
Accelerate Health Technology. Assist in accelerating technology and health and human resources for innovative virtual care.X
Fund AGE-WELL. Support sector innovation by investing in AGE-WELL, Canada’s national aging and technology network (https://agewell-nce.ca/) past 2023.X
R&D Aging Sector. Extend and enhance R&D incentive programs such as the Innovation Assistance Program by including transitioning Networks of Centres of Excellence in these programs. Invest in R&D in the age-tech sector.X
Global Leader in Innovation. Lead a national innovation agenda with significant new investments in seniors’ care, innovation, and technology, with an emphasis on helping domestic companies grow and compete globally. Make Canada a leader in innovation in aging solutions and seniors’ care globally.X
Seniors’ Mental HealthCreate specific funding to support seniors’ mental health.X
Infection Prevention and Disaster ResponseWin Partial WinLoss
National Immunization Strategy. Update the national immunization strategy with input from patients and caregivers. Include NACI recommended best in class influenza, shingles, and COVID-19 vaccinesX
Fully Fund Influenza, Pneumonia and Shingles. Fully-fund all older adults in Canada for the three best-in-class vaccines most beneficial to their well-being: specifically-formulated seniors’ flu vaccines, pneumonia, and shingles vaccines.X
Include Vaccines in Pharmacare. Include vaccines in any Pan-Canadian Pharmacare ProgramX
Reinvent NACI. Reinvent NACI with an enhanced mandate and adequate funding supportsX
National Adult Vaccination Schedule. Create and publicize a National Adult Vaccination schedule, similar to existing vaccine schedules for childrenX
National Vaccination Registry.
Create and invest in an integrated, accessible National Vaccination Registry
X
Vaccine Standards in National LTC Standards. Integrate NACI-recommended vaccines into National Standards for LTC and assist provinces with funding these improvementsX
National Adult Vaccination Awareness Campaign. Create a National Adult Vaccination Awareness CampaignX
Vaccine Research and Innovation. Invest in technology and innovation in vaccine research, tracking, and uptakeX
Provide funding supports for community-based organizations to raise awareness of, and increase accessibility to, vaccines.X
Work with provincial/territorial/municipal governments, and professional associations such as pharmacists, to ensure that vaccines can be easily accessed. Work specifically to ensure that vulnerable seniors in long-term care, persons with disabilities, immunocompromised persons, and indigenous persons and people living in rural and remote areas are prioritized for barrier-free vaccinationsX
Invest in supports for improved purchasing, distribution, and uptake of adult vaccines in indigenous communities. Promote culturally appropriate information on the importance of vaccination in indigenous communitiesX
Ensure that the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board changes do not create barriers for vaccines or new medicines for CanadiansX
Invest in the creation and dissemination of vaccine information which is culturally appropriateX
Work with community stakeholders to combat vaccine hesitancy or confusionX
Ensure National Long-Term Care Standards include improvements to IPACN/A
Have PHAC create a National Emergency Preparedness disaster plan for seniors. Create specific sub-plans for people in LTC, congregate care, community settings, and rural and remote regionsX
Create implementation guidelines for community response during climate change and natural disasters including sub-plans for seniorsX
Caregiving, Long-Term Care, Home Care and Housing ResourcesWin Partial WinLoss
Create a new dedicated Seniors Care Transfer to be negotiated with the provinces/territories by designating specific federal funds for home, community, and LTC.X
Significantly increase funding to allow for implementation of new National Standards for LTC and integrate this work with new federal long-term care legislation.X
Continue working with quality standards organizations, provinces/territories to ensure National Standards for LTC can be implemented and enforced.N/A
Work with industry, provinces/territories to ensure infectious spread liability insurance for LTC as neededX
Establish a seniors’ care worker immigration priority status. Reinstate the Live-In Caregiver Immigration Program. Prioritize recruitment in geriatrics. Change National Occupational Classification codes to ensure appropriate immigration accessibility for seniors’ care workersX
Integrate the role of Essential Caregivers in National Standards for LTC and new federal legislationN/A
Implement the promised changes to the federal Canada Caregiver Tax Credit to become a non-refundable tax credit from its current earned tax credit requirementX
Invest in providing increased quantity and quality of Home Care. Establish Home Care (Care at Home) as the primary Canadian model of seniors’ care. Include Home Care as part of the new Seniors’ Care TransferX
Update the National Housing Strategy to include seniors’ housing, housing with supports, inter-generational and “home-sharing” optionsX
Develop land grant programs to help create seniors’ housing, including LTC. Create grant and loan guarantees for aging-in-place housingX
Invest in accessible transitional and shelter options for seniors who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, as part of Canada’s Housing StrategyX
Provide funding to develop shovel-ready affordable seniors’ housing or LTC projects which will also stimulate the economy and create jobsX
Economic SecurityWin Partial WinLoss
Old Age Security payments be extended to the surviving spouse of the deceased for 3 months.X
End mandatory RRIF withdrawalsX
Provide financial relief for seniors through payments or tax credits to offset increased costs - ensure public pensions such as OAS, CPP, and GIS reflect the current consumer price index and inflationX
Protect the pension funds of workers as privileged creditors by amending the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, and the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.X
Create a Pension Benefit Guarantee Fund ensuring pensioners receive 100% of their deferred wages or, require pension funds to be fully funded, or establish a recurring refundable tax credit equal to the annual pension loss per pensionerX
Operationalize modern tax and pension policies, increasing options for flexible retirement.X
Implement the promises made to the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investment (OBSI), the single dispute resolution provider for all banking and investmentsX
Implement the promise to provide OBSI with binding authority and provide a systemic mandate. Increase OBSI’s remit from $350,000 to $500,000X
Social InclusionWin Partial WinLoss
Amend the New Horizons for Seniors Program to allow for 1-3 year grants prioritizing social inclusion, loneliness, and elder abuse.X
Implement and support a Canada Post “well-being checks” program for isolated seniorsX
Create a pan-Canadian Anti-Ageism CampaignX
Create and support intergenerational programmingX
Continue prioritization and investment in rural digital connectivityX
Fund programming to encourage seniors to become digitally literate and technologically supportedX
Invest in accessible age-inclusive public transportation infrastructureX
Invest in creating Quality Training Standards for programs working with seniors, such as those created by High Five (™) and Parks and Recreation OntarioX
Continue to support and implement the United Way’s Health Aging Collaborative Online Resources and Education (CORE) program across CanadaX

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