Mr. Speaker, last November the government released the first report of its National Seniors Council. Importantly, the council chose elder abuse as its first priority.
Elder abuse can come in the form of neglect and physical, sexual, psychological or financial abuse. It can take place at home, in an institutional setting, or in the community. It affects our parents and grandparents, and yet, it often goes unreported. It is for this reason that raising awareness is a crucial component of preventing the abuse and neglect of older adults. In fact, the council recommended that the government “build on the awareness generated by World Elder Abuse Awareness Day”.
I have been raising this issue since before the council was even established. I have asked the government to support the commitment made under the UN's international plan of action by proclaiming June 15 elder abuse awareness day here in Canada. I have made the request in a statement and a motion in this House, in correspondence, and in a meeting with the minister. Yet another year has passed and the government still has not acted.
If the government wants the National Seniors Council to be taken seriously, then it has to take its recommendations seriously. With June 15 just a few days away, the time to act is now.