Printer-friendly version   




For Immediate Release


June 8, 2009

Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport




VICTORIA – The Province has proclaimed the first full week of June every year as B.C. Seniors’ Week and this year, Seniors’ Week runs from June 7 through June 13. This is an opportunity for communities to acknowledge and celebrate the diversity of the province’s older population and to increase public awareness of their vital role in British Columbia.


The B.C. government is committed to building the best system of support in Canada for older citizens, and through significant investments in innovative partnerships and programs, we already have in place a solid foundation of programs and services for older people. This includes:


·          Launching Seniors In British Columbia: A Healthy Living Framework, government’s action plan to support older British Columbians to live healthy, active and independent lives.

·          Establishing a Seniors Healthy Living Secretariat to lead the implementation of the framework across the provincial government and with other key partners.

·          Eliminating mandatory retirement, providing choice for those who want to continue working.

·          Offering seniors greater flexibility and fewer restrictions on their pensions following changes to the Pension Benefits Standards Act.

·          Encouraging and supporting older adults to be physically active, eat nutritious foods and make healthy lifestyle choices through ActNow BC, the provincial government’s cross-ministry, partnership-based, community-focused health promotion platform.

·          Investing $1.8 million in 18 ActNow BC Seniors Community Parks, piloting a dozen Seniors Boomer Plus fitness boot camps throughout B.C. and distributing Healthy Eating for Seniors Handbooks, which offer healthy eating tips, recipes and menu plans in English, Punjabi and Chinese.

·          Releasing the ninth edition of the BC Seniors’ Guide, a one-stop resource that connects seniors with the services and information they need.

·          Creating more resources to prevent seniors from falls, one of the greatest injury risks that seniors face. This includes establishing the Centre of Excellence on Mobility, Fall Prevention and Injury in Aging.

·          Launching a ground breaking fall prevention web course in partnership with the federal government.



·          Building approximately 12,500 new or replacement beds for residential care and assisted living since 2001. This number includes over 5,800 brand new beds and units.

·          Decreasing wait-times to access residential care have from up to one year in 2001 to an average of 15-90 days today.

·          Increasing funding for residential care and assisted living by almost $440 million – a 37 per cent increase since 2001. Care facility reports are posted online.

·          Doubling Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER), a rent subsidy program for seniors, which provides an annual rental subsidy of $1,800 to over 15,700 seniors (3,700 more than in 2001).

·          Increasing the home owner grant by $100 and eliminating the threshold for low-income seniors, veterans and the disabled.

·          Partnering with the United Way of the Lower Mainland to develop and implement an innovative, community-driven pilot program to help seniors live longer in their own homes through supports like housekeeping, yard maintenance and transportation. Government is providing $700,000 toward the development of up to five Community Action for Seniors Independence pilot projects.

·          A toll-free Health and Seniors’ Information Line - 1-800-465-4911 - is available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday to assist older adults in accessing provincial and federal programs such as housing, transportation, financial and health services specific to seniors’ needs.








Anne McKinnon

Director of Communications

Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport

250 952-2387


For more information on government services or to subscribe to the Province’s news feeds using RSS, visit the Province’s website at