proceeded to consideration of the third (interim) report of
the Special Senate Committee on Aging entitled Issues and
Options for an Aging Society, tabled in the Senate
earlier this day. Hon. Sharon Carstairs moved the
adoption of the report.
Lillian Eva Dyck: Honourable
senators, in the same vein of comments, I believe
Saskatchewan is noted as one of the areas of Canada that has
the highest volunteer rate. I noted in your speech that you
said one activity that keeps seniors youthful is
volunteering in the community.
Yes, that is correct. One option we propose is whether we
should recognize volunteerism through some kind of payment
system or tax relief. As I indicated, it is an option at
this point in time. We have learned — and it is clear — that
people who are volunteers as seniors were volunteers before
they became seniors. Volunteering is a life-long commitment.
As they become older, particularly in their 70s and 80s,
they may slow down a little. However, the reality is that an
active senior is a senior who volunteers.
The Hon. the Speaker
The Honourable Senator Carstairs' time has expired. Is the
honourable senator asking for more time?
Five minutes, if there are questions.
When talking about volunteerism and recognizing volunteers
monetarily, does the honourable senator see a gender
dimension as well in that many women spend a lot of time
doing volunteer work, and women tend to live longer than
We have clearly seen the gender dimension in the number of
women providing care. That is why we also talked about an
option for a benefit for caregivers and an option that would
recognize that individuals who take time off to care for the
elderly should be given the same consideration as those who
take care of young children. That caregiving has been
recognized in the Canada Pension Plan but caring at the
other end of life has not been. We also looked at that as an
On motion of Senator Stratton, debate