Ministers Tassi and Bibeau visit Université de Sherbrooke as it joins global age-friendly university initiative

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

January 16, 2019 Sherbrooke, Quebec Employment and Social Development Canada

Seniors are an important part of our social fabric, and they contribute to building a stronger Canada. They have made countless contributions and we want to make sure they continue to do so in an age-friendly environment. That is why the Government of Canada is working to support older adults throughout the country and promote healthy aging and social inclusion for all Canadians.

Today, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Seniors, together with the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and Member of Parliament for Compton–Stanstead, participated in an event with the Université de Sherbrooke to announce its membership in the Age-Friendly University (AFU) Global Network.

The AFU network is a global body made up of higher education institutions committed to fostering connections that allow seniors to be active participants in society, to overcome ageism and to provide greater opportunities for civic participation. It is comprised of institutions of higher education around the world that have endorsed the 10 Age-Friendly University principles and that have committed themselves to becoming more age-friendly in their programs and policies.

During their visit, Ministers Tassi and Bibeau also had an opportunity to tour the university’s Research Centre on Aging, which focuses on ensuring seniors age successfully through more active lives and healthier lifestyles.

The Government of Canada welcomes this research, as it contributes to a greater understanding of aging in Canada

“As Canada’s aging population continues to grow rapidly, we all have to work together to ensure our policies contribute to age-friendly environments for seniors. I thank the Université de Sherbrooke for providing seniors with a welcoming and inclusive environment for lifelong learning, as well as for their important research on aging, which will help ensure seniors live safely, enjoy good health and remain involved in their communities.”

– The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Seniors

“The Research Centre on Aging at the Université de Sherbrooke is one of the largest in Canada. The recognition it is receiving today is a great source of pride for our region, particularly the academic world, which dedicates itself to scientific advancement with vision and passion.”

– The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and Member of Parliament for Compton–Stanstead

“The Université de Sherbrooke has earned an excellent reputation for its multidisciplinary work on aging and seniors. Seniors’ health and social integration, the aging process and now developing care and treatments to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s have been our focus for over 30 years. This recognition from Age-Friendly University is a testament to the Université de Sherbrooke commitment to the issues of an aging population.”

– Jean Pierre Perreault, Vice-President, Research and Graduate Studies, University of Sherbrooke

Quick facts

  • Seniors are the fastest-growing demographic group in Canada, which makes research on aging an integral component of health research in Canada today.

  • By 2031, the number of seniors will reach almost 9 million people, representing close to one quarter of Canada’s population.

  • Canadians’ life expectancy is expected to continue rising—Canadian men and women born in 2030 will live on average to age 84 and 87, respectively.

  • The Research Centre on Aging, known in French as the Centre de recherche sur le veillissement, is a research institute founded in 1988 in Sherbrooke, Quebec, and has been associated with the Université de Sherbrooke since 2005.

  • The Centre has a longstanding history of research on various aspects of aging and consists of over 50 researchers and over 20 research associates. It is funded by the province of Quebec via the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé.

  • The AFU principles reflect the work of an international interdisciplinary team at Dublin City University to identify the distinctive contributions institutions of higher education can make in responding to the interests and needs of an aging population. Launched by the Irish Prime Minister in 2012, the 10 AFU principles have been adopted by institutions around the world including in Canada.

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