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News Release:
VON applauds the Liberal Party for Taking Action on Addressing the Needs of Caregivers

For Immediate Release

Whitby, Ontario - January 6, 2006 - VON (Victorian Order of Nurses) is pleased with the steps that the Liberal Party of Canada has taken towards addressing the needs and concerns of caregivers.

"As the health care system continues to move people from the institutional setting to the home and community care arena, the role of caregivers will continue to grow and be an even more important to the sustainability of our health care system. As an organization that has been a leader in this field we applaud the Liberal party for tackling an issue that has not been given the attention it deserves " said Dr. Judith Shamian, President and CEO, VON Canada. "A national and comprehensive strategy along with substantial financial investments like the one we are seeing today will help to keep caregiving at the top of the agenda."

In particular, VON is pleased that a Liberal government would:

  • Expand the eligibility definition of 'family' beyond parent, child or spouse to include siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, in-laws, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, foster parents, wards and others considered like family by the gravely ill person;
  • Increase the Caregiver Tax Credit to $15,000 from $10,000;
  • Increase the length of the benefit beyond 6 weeks;
  • Provide much needed financial resources to improve resources for caregivers by establishing Community Caregiving Canada to allow for community-based solutions to caregiving challenges.

VON is currently working to launch Canada's first caregiver portal that will:

  • Provide caregivers with information about local services and supports;
  • Provide access to a nurse/care provider; and,
  • Enable VON to gather important data, questions and comments to track the needs of caregivers so that we can respond to future needs of caregivers.

"The issue of caregiving and the need to support caregivers is not new to VON. We have been dealing with this issue for over 100 years and are pleased that the issue is climbing the political agenda," said Dr. Judith Shamian. "While much works remains to be done, the opportunity for community based organizations like the VON to provide community based solutions with financial resources is crucial if we are going to support the needs of caregivers".

For information on VON's position on caregiving, please visit the following links:

  • General information on VON's efforts to address caregiving efforts www.von.ca/caregiving.html
  • VON Canada's Caregiving Program: An Overview
    http://www.von.ca/doc/VON%20Canada%20Caregiving%20Program.doc
  • VON Canada's recommendations to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance during Pre-budget consultations
    www.von.ca/doc/Government%20Relations/FinanceCteRecs_2005.doc
  • VON Canada's letter to the Chair, House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance
    www.von.ca/doc/Government%20Relations/Finance%20Committee%2
    0-%20Caregiver%20Tax%20Credit.doc

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VON is dedicated to being a leader in the delivery of innovative comprehensive health and social services and to influencing the development of health and social policy in Canada. We are a national health organization and registered charity offering a wide range of community health care solutions that meet the needs of Canadians
from coast to coast. VON is committed to quality improvement and is accredited by the Canadian Council of Health Services Accreditation.

Media inquiries:
Farah Mohamed
Vice President, Public Affairs
VON Canada
647 393 3923


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