Photo: Bill Walker
Bill Walker MPP Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound
Queen's Park

Bill Walker MPP

Media Release:

Media Release: image
MPP Bill Walker (right) with Owen Sound Ontario Home Health owner Rick Gautreau

For Immediate Release
November 13, 2020

Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover Helps Seniors Stay Safe at Home Longer in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound

OWEN SOUND - The Ontario government is taking action in Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover to help seniors stay in their homes longer through a new proposed Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit for the 2021 taxation year. This would provide seniors and family members they live with a 25 per cent credit on eligible renovations of up to $10,000 to make their homes safer and more accessible.

Local MPP Bill Walker said these supports are especially important for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, which has a higher-than-average population of senior citizens.

"Our government recognizes the contribution seniors have made to our communities, our province and our country," said MPP Walker. "We are helping keep our seniors safe during the pandemic and providing a diverse range of programs each day promoting wellness, social interaction in a safe manner and education to help them stay active, independent and engaged. This is especially important to us here in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound where we have a high population of senior citizens."

The new proposed personal income tax credit would support seniors regardless of their income and whether they owe income tax for 2021. For example, an Ontario senior or family members living with a senior would receive a maximum of $2,500 back for a $10,000 renovation to make their home safer. Examples of eligible expenses would include grab bars and related reinforcements around the toilet, tub and shower, wheelchair ramps, stair lifts and elevators. The tax credit would also be available for renovations to permit first floor occupancy or a secondary suite for a senior.

"Seniors are the heart and soul of Ontario’s communities," said Premier Doug Ford. "These programs and tax savings will give seniors what they need to stay healthy, safe and virtually connected to their friends, families and neighbours."

"COVID-19 has reminded us all that our homes are a special place where we should be safe. But for many seniors, making their homes safe and accessible requires expensive improvements," said Minister Phillips. "This new tax credit would help tens of thousands of seniors stay longer in the homes they love."

The government is also investing an additional $25 million to support seniors through programs and initiatives focusing on community renewal, growth and economic recovery, including:

  • $10.9 million in additional supports for infection prevention and control and PPE in retirement homes, on top of $20 million already delivered to the sector;
  • $5 million for delivery of food and medicine through an extension of the Ontario Community Support Program, adding to the $11 million investment first announced in April;
  • Up to $4 million for 165 diverse local projects to keep seniors safe and engaged at home through the 2020-21 Seniors Community Grant Program;
  • An additional $3.1 million in 2021-22 to support virtual social programs for seniors through Ontario’s network of Seniors Active Living Centres (SALCs) – an increase in funding of 22 per cent, bringing the total investment to $17.2 million;
  • An additional $2 million over the next two years for the new Inclusive Community Grants program. This brings the total investment to $3.5 million to help municipalities and organizations develop community-level plans to support ageing-in-the-community.

"The health and well-being of Ontario’s seniors is fundamentally important to our government, and we want seniors to age at home and stay in their local community as long as possible," said Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. "Providing tax savings for renovations and community-based program supports will give seniors and their families practical help to make this happen. These investments will help keep our seniors safe, while also combatting social isolation."

Ontario's Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover is the next phase of a comprehensive action plan to respond to the serious health and economic impacts of COVID-19. Ontario's Action Plan sets out a total of $45 billion in support over three years to make the necessary health resources available to continue protecting people, deliver critical programs and tax measures to support individuals, families and job creators impacted by the virus, and lay the groundwork for a robust long-term economic recovery for the province.

QUICK FACTS:

  • The Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit would cost about $30 million and benefit about 27,000 people across Ontario, including seniors and people who live with senior relatives.
  • To claim the tax credit, seniors or their family members should get receipts from suppliers and contractors for work paid for in 2021.
  • Ontario’s Inclusive Community Grants Program gives municipalities, local governments, community organizations and Indigenous groups up to $60,000 for local accessible and age-friendly projects.
  • The 2020-21 Seniors Community Grant Program will help non-profit organizations, local services boards and Indigenous groups develop programs to keep seniors engaged, reduce isolation, promote well-being and lower the risk of abuse and fraud.
  • The Ontario Community Support Program works with local volunteer organizations to deliver meals, medicine and other essentials to low-income seniors and people with disabilities and has delivered nearly 490,000 meals, food hampers and essential supplies to vulnerable individuals since April 2020.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:



CONTACT: Chris Fell | chris.fell@pc.ola.org | 519-371-2421


 
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