Have you called your grandparents lately? Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants to make sure you have. On top of announcing a new benefit for seniors, he also urged Canadians to check in on their elders.
During his daily address on May 12, Trudeau said that the government will be providing up to $500 for seniors receiving the Old Age Security pension and the guaranteed income supplement.
There will also be an additional $20 million investment in the New Horizons for Seniors program, which provides "grants and contributions [which support] projects that empower seniors in their communities and contribute to improving their health and well-being."
Trudeau also noted that the current pandemic is having an emotional and mental toll on people, in addition to putting a strain on their finances.
"A lot of people, especially single seniors, are feeling really lonely right now," the Prime Minister said, "so call your grandparents. Ask them how their day is going, how they're doing, and how you can help."
Trudeau also recommended writing letters or postcards and volunteering with organizations that are working to help isolated seniors.
"We need to be there for those who helped build this country for the rest of us," he said, "and that's what Canadians will continue to do, and together, we will get through this."
The Prime Minister took time during his address to acknowledge the failings of long-term care homes, where COVID-19 has hit the hardest. Trudeau said that it has "exposed some uncomfortable truths about our society."
Both Ontario and Quebec have requested military aid to help combat the massive outbreaks occurring in these facilities.
Trudeau said that in the coming months, the federal government will be helping all of the provinces find lasting solutions to these problems.
During questions from reporters, the Prime Minister remarked that, with so much discussion about reopening, he will have more to say about the Canada-U.S. border in the coming days.