Executive Council
Children, Seniors and Social Development
December 13, 2016

Supporting Seniors in the Province

Provincial Government Introduces Legislation to Establish Office of the Seniors’ Advocate

Legislation to establish an Office of the Seniors’ Advocate will receive second reading in the House of Assembly today. Once established, the Seniors’ Advocate will collaborate with seniors, their families, caregivers, policy makers and frontline service providers to identify and address systemic issues facing seniors in the province.

“During our Let’s Connect initiative in 2014, and on many occasions since, seniors in our province have consistently, and strongly, expressed the need for an Office of the Seniors’ Advocate. As a government, the challenges and opportunities resulting from our aging population must be considered as we evolve our policies, programs and services. The legislation introduced in the House of Assembly today delivers on our commitment and will strengthen support for seniors in our province.”
- The Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

The Office of the Seniors’ Advocate will work with other entities, including the Office of the Citizens’ Representative and the Seniors Resource Centre of Newfoundland and Labrador, but will not duplicate or impede their mandates. Rather, it will focus on systemic issues affecting seniors in the province and make recommendations to government accordingly.

“While we currently have mechanisms in place to handle requests for information, referrals to services and ways to address individual issues impacting seniors, there is a gap when it comes to addressing systemic issues. That is why seniors, seniors’ organizations and major stakeholders have called for the establishment of an Office of the Seniors’ Advocate. The advocate will be instrumental in making recommendations to government respecting changes to improve services for seniors.”
- The Honourable Sherry Gambin-Walsh, Minister of Children, Seniors and Social Development

The Seniors Resource Centre of Newfoundland and Labrador is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the independence and well-being of older adults in Newfoundland and Labrador through the provision of information and various programs and services. Budget 2016 provided support of $300,000 for the Seniors Resource Centre to enhance its information and referral services.

“The Seniors Resource Centre of Newfoundland and Labrador proudly supports the establishment of the Office of the Seniors’ Advocate. We share the goal of promoting healthy aging and independence of seniors throughout our province. We look forward to continuing to work with the Provincial Government, providing programs and services to meet seniors’ needs.”
- Edwina Kirkland, Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Seniors Resource Centre of Newfoundland and Labrador,/p>

Regulations will be developed in consultation with key stakeholders over the next several months and the Seniors’ Advocate will report to the House of Assembly.

QUICK FACTS

  • Legislation to establish an Office of the Seniors’ Advocate will receive second reading in the House of Assembly today.
  • The Seniors’ Advocate will address systemic issues facing seniors in the province.
  • The new Office of the Seniors’ Advocate will complement the work of the Office of the Citizens’ Representative and Seniors Resource Centre.
  • The Independent Appointments Commission will actively recruit for the Seniors’ Advocate position.

- 30 -

Media contacts:

Michelle Cannizzarro
Director of Communications
Office of the Premier
709-729-3960
michellecannizzaro@gov.nl.ca
Krista Dalton
Media Relations Manager
Department of Children, Seniors and
Social Development
709-729-3768, 685-6492
kristadalton@gov.nl.ca

2016 12 13                              12:10 p.m.