January 23, 2019 7:48 pm
Updated: January 24, 2019 4:01 am

Minister of Seniors receives warm welcome during tour of Guelph seniors centre

Minister of Seniors Filomena Tassi with Guelph MP Lloyd Longfield at the Evergreen Seniors Community Centre.

Darren Baxter/Global News

Canada’s Minister of Seniors Filomena Tassi joined Guelph MP Lloyd Longfield early Monday afternoon on a tour of the Evergreen Seniors Community Centre.

Following a brief introduction in the centre’s library, Tassi was serenaded by a seniors choir as she began her stroll around the complex.

The minister checked out the newly upgraded computer lab, funded through the government’s New Horizons for Seniors Program. The grant also helped The Guelph Wellington Seniors Association purchase canoes for their Going Canoeing Project.

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Tassi says the government has taken a number of recent initiatives for seniors, including rolling back the age of eligibility for Guaranteed Income Supplements and Old Age Security pension benefits from 67 to 65. The GIS supplement for the most vulnerable single seniors has also been increased to $947 more per year.

She says the feds have also addressed the issue of affordable housing for seniors, and have invested $6 billion in palliative care and home care with the provinces and territories.

The minister added that the prime minister has been clear with her on his desire to hear from seniors, their family members and those who care for the elderly.

In her conversations with seniors, Tassi says other issues being discussed include access to health care, elder abuse and elder fraud.

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The minister was passionate when asked about the impact that seniors centres, like the Evergreen, have on the lives of those who visit them.

“I don’t think words can accurately reflect the meaning that places like this have for seniors… You have seniors playing cards, you have seniors having a game of pool, you have seniors in the library.

“That engagement together is extremely important because it not only helps seniors have an opportunity to socialize but I think it also invites them to be a part of our communities, and when they are a greater part of the community, we all benefit.”

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