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Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Ontario Launches Age-Friendly Community Recognition Program

Nominations Open Today

Ontario is launching a new program to recognize municipalities and organizations across the province that have made outstanding progress in creating inclusive and accessible communities for people of all ages and abilities.

The Ontario Age-Friendly Community Recognition Award recognizes communities and municipalities that are working to meet the needs of Ontario's growing seniors' population. Initiatives could include safe and accessible public parks and community centres, recreation programming to help local seniors stay active, easy access to transportation and services and walkable communities that make it easier for people to get around.

Submissions can be made online by local governments, or community organizations that have the support of their local government. The deadline to nominate a deserving initiative is February 2, 2018.

Age-friendly communities help seniors live their best lives by creating accessible and inclusive physical and social environments that support older adults in living independent, active and healthy lives, helping them to stay engaged in their communities.

This program is part of Aging with Confidence: Ontario's Action Plan for Seniors, which includes more than 20 new initiatives to help ensure seniors can access the supports they need at every stage of their lives. The plan includes 30,000 new long-term care beds, 15 million more hours of nursing, personal support and therapeutic care for long-term care home residents, a free annual high-dose influenza vaccine for seniors, and a new one-stop website where seniors can find information about tax credits, drug coverage, powers of attorney, recreation programs and more.

Helping communities across Ontario support the growing seniors' population is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
Quick Facts:

  • Ontario is expanding the Age-Friendly Community Planning grant program by providing $7 million over three years and by including a new implementation stream to make communities more accessible and inclusive for seniors of all ages and abilities.
  • Submissions can be made online by local governments, or community organizations that have the support of their local government. The deadline to nominate a deserving initiative is February 2, 2018.
  • Profiles of the best community projects will be showcased in spring 2018.
  • Provincial recognition of an age-friendly community will trigger eligibility for pan-Canadian recognition and international endorsement through the World Health Organization.
Additional Resources:

"Seniors want to live their best lives: maximizing their health, safety, and connections with family, friends and their community. The Ontario Age-Friendly Community Recognition Award helps to support initiatives at the local level that have made a difference in the lives of seniors."
— Dipika Damerla, Minister of Seniors Affairs

"I’m very proud of what the Peterborough community has already accomplished for our seniors. This recognition program will inspire municipal governments and organizations to strive for more, by working collaboratively with local partners to help seniors live their best lives."

 — Jeff Leal, MPP – Peterborough

"With this recognition program, we will be able to leverage our Age-friendly Action Plan for Seniors we launched earlier this year to further enhance programs, services and infrastructure for older adults in the Peterborough region."
— Ann MacLeod, Acting Chair, Age-friendly Peterborough Advisory Committee

Media Contacts:

Laura Sylvis
Communications Branch

Noah Farber
Minister’s Office
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