Mr. Speaker, in October 1999, the world's population will pass the six billion mark. This is of major importance to our country, for the changing demographics will result in a greater number of seniors in the coming century.
The aging of the world's population will present us with a major challenge, to strengthen intergenerational ties and to provide health and social services to those of all ages.
We must start preparations right now for addressing that challenge. A strategy of adaptation to population changes requires collaborative efforts in all areas of human activity to make our society senior-friendly.
This strategy must include a public recognition of their contribution, the creation of a senior-friendly environment, and the promotion of the role older people play in the family and in society.
In this International Year of Older Persons, I encourage all my colleagues to support any initiatives to that end.