Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Thunder Bay-Rainy River Liberal MP Marcus Powlowski, on behalf of Deb Schulte, Minister of Seniors, announced an investment of $81,230 in Thunder Bay-Rainy River last week. These funds will be dedicated to support projects organized and delivered by community groups to help seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With the help of the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program, seniors in Atikokan and the Fort Frances – Rainy River area will feel more connected and included in their community. With the current situation, we are supporting those working hard to help seniors coping with the effects of COVID-19,” Powlowski said.
According to a press release, support for these projects are being provided by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP), which fosters social inclusion and engagement of seniors by encouraging them to share their knowledge, skills and experience to stay active and engaged.
“We cannot allow physical distancing to become social distancing,” Schulte said. “With this additional funding, we are helping ensure seniors in as many communities as possible across Canada get support and stay connected during the pandemic. We want to help seniors across the country as quickly as possible.”
The Government of Canada is providing funding through NHSP to fund COVID-19-related projects across Canada in different communities in all of the provinces.
Among the recipients is Flinder’s Place in Fort Frances, which received $24,000 to fund the seniors computer literacy and virtual activity platform. Columbus Place for Seniors also in Fort Frances received $18,000 also for seniors computer literacy and virtual activity platform.
Naicatrchewenin First Nation received $25,000 for Senior COVID-19 Support Worker and Pioneer Club of Atikokan received $14,230 for connecting with seniors programming.
“Projects were selected based on equitable distribution of funding across the country, after consideration of active projects taking place in communities,” the press release stated. “Projects focusing on vulnerable populations or serving rural and remote communities were prioritized.”
According to the Government of Canada, the NHSP’s objectives is to promote volunteerism among seniors and other generations, engage seniors in the community through the mentoring of others, expand awareness of elder abuse, including financial abuse, support the social participation and inclusion of seniors and provide capital assistance for new and existing community projects and programs for seniors.
In May, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an additional $20 million in the NHSP to help seniors manage the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. All the projects developed as a result of the funding will take place between July 2020 and March 2021.