Legislation Protecting Canada's Seniors Comes into Force

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ETOBICOKE, January 14, 2013 – The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and the Honourable Alice Wong, M.P. for Richmond and Minister of State (Seniors), welcomed yesterday’s coming into force of the Protecting Canada’s Seniors Act.

“Our Government is ensuring that crimes against our elderly are punished appropriately,” said Minister Nicholson. “Elder abuse is disgraceful and appalling; the Protecting Canada’s Seniors Act will ensure tougher sentences for those who take advantage of these vulnerable members of our society.”

“This legislation further supports our Government’s existing action to eliminate elder abuse in all forms,” said Minister Wong. “Elder abuse will not be tolerated. Our Government continues to ensure that Canadians are made aware of this serious issue and that they have the necessary information and supports for preventative action.”

The Protecting Canada’s Seniors Act better protects seniors by ensuring tougher sentences for those who take advantage of elderly Canadians. Under the amendments to the Criminal Code, evidence that an offence had a significant impact on the victims due to their age – and other personal circumstances such as their health or financial situation – will now be considered an aggravating factor for sentencing purposes.

The Government addresses elder abuse in a number of ways, including its elder abuse awareness campaigns and the New Horizons for Seniors Program. In 2011, the Government increased its investment in this program, which includes projects to increase elder abuse awareness, by $5 million per year, bringing its annual budget to $45 million.

More information about elder abuse can be found at www.seniors.gc.ca

An online version of the Protecting Canada’s Seniors Act is available at www.parl.gc.ca.

Backgrounder: Protecting Canada’s Seniors Act

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