OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 12/13/12 -- Today, 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 the passing by Parliament of Bill C-36 the Protecting Canada's Seniors Act.
"Our Government promised to better protect elderly Canadians and today, we are one step closer to achieving that commitment," said Minister Nicholson. "Senior Canadians have spent their lifetime building our families, our communities and our country. We must ensure greater protection for them under the law."
"The Protecting Canada's Seniors Act is part of our Government's commitment to better protecting seniors," said Minister Wong. "This legislation builds on our previous record of raising awareness about elder abuse. All too often seniors are the victims of crime in our country and the message we are sending is that this conduct will not be tolerated."
The Protecting Canada's Seniors Act aims to better protect seniors by helping ensure tough sentences for those who take advantage of elderly Canadians. Under the proposed 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 - would be considered an aggravating factor for sentencing purposes. The amendments would also ensure a consistent application of sentencing practices that treat the abuse against individuals who are vulnerable due to their age and other personal circumstances.
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 the New Horizons for Seniors Program, which includes projects to increase elder abuse awareness, by $5 million per year, bringing the program's annual budget to $45 million.
The Protecting Canada's Seniors Act will come into force 30 days following Royal Assent.
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
(Version francaise disponible)
Elder Abuse Legislation
Elder abuse is any action, often committed by someone in a relationship of trust, that results in harm or distress to an older person. Commonly recognized types of elder abuse include physical, psychological and financial abuse, and neglect. Financial abuse is the most commonly reported type. Often more than one type of abuse occurs at the same time. Abuse can be a single incident or a repeated pattern of behaviour. Elder abuse often occurs because of the abuser's power and control over an older person. In some situations the abuse may also result from addiction issues (drugs, alcohol or gambling), mental health problems, a cycle of family violence or discrimination against older people. In many situations of elder abuse the abuser is dependent on the older adult for money, food or shelter.
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