Budget 2021 is the Government of Canada’s plan to finish the fight against COVID-19 and ensure a robust economic recovery that is inclusive of all Canadians.
COVID-19 has gravely affected seniors. Every senior in Canada deserves to live in dignity, safety, and comfort, regardless of which province or territory they call home. It is essential that we protect the health and well-being of seniors, and the personal support workers who care for them, through this difficult time and into the future.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially tough for seniors on so many levels,” Joyce Murray, Minister of Digital Government said. “Budget 2021 commits substantial support to provide the seniors that have built this country with greater financial security and care.”
Budget 2021 proposes to provide $3 billion over five years to support provinces and territories in ensuring standards for long-term care are applied and permanent changes are made. And as announced in March 2021, the federal government is proposing to provide provinces and territories with $4 billion through a one-time top-up to the Canada Health Transfer.
Seniors face increased vulnerability as they age- they tend to have lower incomes, experience higher poverty rates, and often face health‑related expenses because of the onset of illness or disability. They are also more likely to face the possibility of outliving their life savings and are more at risk of widowhood. Research shows that the loss of a spouse or partner can lead to a significant decline in the standard of living of seniors, particularly among women. In 2020, among OAS pensioners aged 75 and over, 57 per cent are women—compared to 52 per cent among those aged 65–74.
Among seniors aged 75 and over, few work, and those who do have a median annual employment income of only $720.
In 2018, the proportion of seniors with employment income was substantially lower among those aged 75 and over (15.4 per cent) compared to those aged 65–74 (34.2 per cent).
However, the Government is also delivering on its promise to increase Old Age Security for Canadians aged 75 and older, which will provide up to $766 more for eligible seniors in the first years, and that will grow with indexation.