Happy Canada Day from MP Lois BrownJune 27, 2014,
Parliamentary Secretary Lois Brown meets with stakeholders to discuss increasing food security in developing countriesJune 26, 2014,
June 24, 2014 - Lois Brown, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, the Honourable Christian Paradis, met with Howard G. Buffett, Chairman and CEO of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, as well as with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, to discuss agricultural development and reducing global hunger.
“Increasing threats and risks to food security demand a global, comprehensive approach that addresses both long-term development needs and short-term immediate needs for vulnerable women, men and children who are hungry and under-nourished,” said PS Brown. “The changing landscape of food security and agriculture requires innovative solutions and strong partnerships that support inclusive and sustainable agricultural growth.”
Food security continues to be a key development priority for the Government of Canada. Sustainable agricultural development is one of the most effective investments in reducing poverty and improving food security in a developing country. Canada is committed to investing in climate-smart agricultural growth with smallholder farmers in developing countries, especially in Africa andAsia, where the majority of these farmers are women.
“Moving forward, Canada is committed to working closely with Canadian and international partners to support our collective efforts to improve food security and nutrition to the most vulnerable,” added PS Brown.
The meeting was hosted by the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and took place in tandem with the Sixth World Congress on Conservation Agriculture, an international gathering of agricultural experts.
The Canadian Foodgrains Bank provides emergency food assistance (food commodities, cash and vouchers for food, and nutritional interventions) and development assistance (agriculture and livelihoods) to people in need through its 15 Canadian church-based member agencies. It is one ofCanada's key non-governmental partners involved in food assistance and is a recognized centre of expertise in food assistance and food security.
The Howard G. Buffett Foundation is a U.S. private family foundation working to improve the standard of living and quality of life for the world’s most impoverished and marginalized populations.
- Worldwide, nearly 870 million people do not have access to good quality food in adequate quantities as a result of conflicts, natural disasters or chronic poverty.
- Addressing the causes of under-nutrition in women, girls and children under five is a key pillar of Canada’s Forward Strategy on Saving Every Woman, Every Child.
- The Canadian Foodgrains Bank was represented at the recent Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach summit in Toronto, where Prime Minister Harper committed $3.5 billion between 2015 and 2020 to improve the health of mothers and children around the world.
- In June 2011, the Government of Canada committed to providing the Canadian Foodgrains Bank $125 million in long-term institutional support from 2011-12 to 2015-16 ($25 million per year).
- Canada also supports the International Fund for Agricultural Development and its work with smallholder farmers and the private sector to improve the production of nutritious food and to promote agricultural innovations.
MP Lois Brown announces support for project led and inspired by seniors in Newmarket-AuroraJune 09, 2014,
Seniors in the Town of Aurora will soon have new opportunities to volunteer, mentor younger generations and take part in social activities, today announced Newmarket-Aurora MP Lois Brown, on behalf of the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors).
The Aurora Historical Society (AHS) is receiving $16,150 for their project, “Let’s Talk! Oral History of Aurora” project from the New Horizons for Seniors Program.
The organization will pair up seniors with youth to create an intergenerational project where seniors will share their heritage stories with youth who will record them for display on a new website. By recording senior’s stories, memories and experiences, not only will the youth participants learn about seniors and the past, but the audio and visual material will be readily available to the public online.
“Seniors have played a central part in building our community and our country,” said MP Brown. “They have earned our respect and admiration and deserve our support to help them enjoy the best quality of life possible. I am proud to work with organizations in our community that involve seniors in local projects showcasing their skills, knowledge and experience. By supporting New Horizons for Seniors Program projects, we are helping seniors maintain a good quality of life and continue to be active members of their communities.”
“The Aurora Historical Society has a proud history of preserving tangible aspects of Aurora’s history,” said Catherine Richards, manager and curator of the Aurora Historical Society. “This project will foster mentorship opportunities and the intergenerational sharing of knowledge, heritage and culture while preserving our community’s rich and valuable oral history.”
The project will involve two other local organizations – the Senior Wish Association (Aurora) and the Hollandview Trail Retirement Community.
Five New Horizons for Seniors community-based projects were approved in Newmarket-Aurora through the 2013-2014 call for proposals, for a total amount of $101,938. Other recipients included CHATS, Rhythm is for Everyone, Shadowpath and the York Region Food Network.
The Government of Canada is currently seeking applications for projects for the 2014-2015 year through the New Horizons for Seniors Program.
Organizations may receive up to $25,000 in grant funding. Projects must address one or more of the program’s five objectives: volunteering, mentoring, expanding awareness of elder abuse, social participation and capital assistance.
The current call for proposals will close on Friday, July 4, 2014.
For more information on the NHSP, visit esdc.gc.ca/seniors.
Backgrounder: Conservative Government Seniors’ Accomplishments
Financial Assistance and Tax Relief
Since 2006, $2.8 billion in annual tax relief has been provided to seniors and pensioners.
Canada’s low-income rate for seniors has fallen from 21.4 per cent in 1980 to 5.2 per cent in 2011; one of the lowest rates in the industrial world.
Budget 2011 introduced the largest GIS increase in over 25 years, investing more than $300 million per year to further improve the financial security and well-being of more than 680,000 seniors across Canada.
Our government has also implemented pension income-splitting for pensioners, allowing seniors and pensioners to allocate up to one-half of eligible pension income to their spouse or common-law partner for added tax relief.
In 2014, a single senior can earn at least $20,054 and a couple can earn at least $40,108 before paying federal income tax.
As a result of actions taken since 2006, approximately 380,000 seniors have been removed from the tax rolls completely.
Labour and Employment Assistance Services
- Economic Action Plan 2014 proposes to renew the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (TIOW) program with an investment of $75 million over three years to assist older workers with skill-building and job matching.
- Budget 2014 also expanded program eligibility to include communities experiencing unfulfilled employer demand and skills mismatches in addition to communities with experiencing high unemployment or significant workplace closures.
- To support caregivers, EAP 2014 launched the Canadian Employers for Caregivers Action Plan to work with employers so that caregivers can maximize their participation in the workforce while being able to provide care to loved ones.
- Economic Action Plan 2014 increased funding for the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) from $45 million to $50 million annually; this comes in addition to prior enhancements in 2010 and 2011.
- The NHSP is a federal program that supports projects led or inspired by seniors that help encourage seniors to volunteer, support social participation and inclusion, improve seniors’ facilities and increase awareness on key issues such as elder abuse.
- To date, the NHSP has supported approximately 12,200 projects in over 1,000 communities across Canada.
- Economic Action Plan 2014 also supports the implementation of the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights which stands up for victims of crime and gives a more effective voice to victims in the criminal justice and corrections systems.
- This comes in addition to the Protecting Canada’s Seniors Act which was introduced in 2013 to help better protect seniors and victims of elder abuse.
Address by Parliamentary Secretary Lois Brown at the 2014 APEC Women and the Economy ForumMay 22, 2014,
Check against delivery
Representing Canada at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Women and the Economy Forum in Beijing, China, Lois Brown, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development, on behalf of the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development made the following address while announcing remarks while announcing a new initiative to promote women's economic empowerment in the Philippines:
“Thank you, Ms. Song, and to China, for hosting APEC’s fourth Women in the Economy Forum.
“I am pleased to represent Canada at the Forum as I believe firmly that women have an essential role to play in Canada’s economy and in every economy around the world. If we can identify today ways to support women as workers, entrepreneurs and leaders, we will be taking another step in ensuring that women are full and equal partners in the growth and prosperity of the Asia Pacific region.
“Globally, we have seen progress on women’s economic empowerment. Women represent 40 percent of the global labour force, 43 percent of the global agricultural workforce, and more than half of the world’s university students. In APEC economies, more than 60 percent of women are part of the formal economy.
“In Canada, women are also strong performers. Women’s employment rate is the highest in the G7 and is ranked 7th out of 34 OECD countries. Small and medium-sized enterprises represent 98 percent of Canadian businesses, approximately 47 percent of which have some degree of female ownership. Women-owned SMEs have been established at a growing rate in recent years, with 39 percent of majority women-owned SMEs having entered the market within the last five years.
“Women-owned businesses fuel job creation for Canadians, with over 570,000 people employed by majority women-owned businesses and 2.6 million people employed by firms with some degree of female ownership.
“Yet more can be done. In today’s economic climate, we cannot afford to ignore the talents and untapped potential of half of the world’s population. The themes of this year’s forum are important in this regard. Women must be able to take advantage of opportunities in new and emerging sectors, such as in the green economy. Women’s businesses must be able to access new regional markets. And enabling policies and laws are key to supporting women’s participation in the economy.
“Looking at women in regional trade and economic cooperation, governments and the private sector can work together to address some of the key needs of women’s businesses. At the top of the list in this regard are: 1) access to business services, including financing, 2) access to markets, and 3) building skills.
“Canada supports each of these elements, domestically and abroad. At home, Canada offers a suite of programming to assist entrepreneurs in starting and growing their businesses. These include comprehensive business supports, which are available for all business owners, as well as targeted supports for women, including our Business Women in International Trade program.
“The program plays a major role in bringing together key public and private stakeholders to support opportunities for Canadian women-owned businesses. An example of this is the establishment of WEConnect Canada. This non-profit organization certifies Canadian women majority-owned businesses and delivers education, training, coaching and mentoring programs. This certification provides procurement opportunities to Canadian women-owned companies with corporate and government entities which have supplier diversity programs in Canada, the United States, and 15 other countries around the world. Currently, 97% of Fortune 500 corporations have supplier diversity programs.
“Abroad, Canada supported a recently completed initiative with the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) designed to respond directly to the needs of women’s businesses in that country. I can report that the project succeeded in building policy and technical capacity in national and local governments to deliver services to women entrepreneurs, ultimately resulting in women’s businesses reaching new markets and achieving higher sales. In the end, the project reached about 6,000 public officials at the national and local levels, and ultimately close to 14,000 women micro-entrepreneurs across the Philippines.
“And as we all know, for these projects to be successful, they must be situated within a broader policy and legal environment that establishes equal rights for women and combats discrimination. In this regard, the results achieved are enabled and backed up by comprehensive new human rights laws that seek to eliminate discrimination against women, and support women’s economic empowerment in particular. In the Philippines, this helped project success.
“Building on the success of this project, I am pleased to announce that Canada is now investing in a new round of support to the PCW worth CAD$8 million. The new initiative will again work with key national and local agencies and the private sector to help women entrepreneurs enhance their products, improve their productivity, marketing, and compliance with safety and business regulations and standards, and connect to domestic and global markets.
“I am confident that we can make real progress on women and the economy. I would like to encourage APEC, through the Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy, to continue to identify and support best practices. I am certain that we all have positive experiences to share and from which to learn. Thank you