Enjoying Your Senior Years in Your Own Language, Culture and Community: Federal support from key institutions and a portrait of English-speaking seniors in Quebec

Acknowledgements

The Commissioner of Official Languages contracted Dr. Joanne Pocock to carry out this study. She conducted the interviews, compiled and reported on their results, and produced most of the quantitative information in this report. However, the interpretation of the data and the recommendations are entirely those of the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages.

We thank Dr. Pocock for her diligence, professionalism and patience in conducting her mandate.

We also thank the members of the consultative committee for this study who took the time to read the report at various stages and provide their comments. These members were: Dr. Lorraine O'Donnell, Coordinator, Quebec English-Speaking Communities Research Network; Dr. Daphne Nahmiash, Former Member of the National Seniors Council; David Cassidy, President, Seniors Action Quebec; and Rita Legault, Director of Communications and Public Relations, Quebec Community Groups Network.

1. Introduction

1.1. Objectives

This exploratory study has two main objectives. The first is to describe federal support in terms of policies and programs that concern seniors in general and in both English- and French-speaking official language minority communities (OLMCs). The second is to provide a data-based portrait of the situation of Quebec's English-speaking seniors. For this second objective, the study asks these questions: Where are the English-speaking seniors in Quebec? Who are they? Who cares for them? What services do they have access to, and how do they use those services?

We hope that this study will help OLMCs (including the new Seniors Action Quebec, the province's advocacy network of English-speaking seniors) as they seek support from federal institutions.

As well, the data-based portrait presented may help federal institutions to understand Quebec's English-speaking seniors. (A similar portrait published by the Fédération des aînées et aînés francophones du Canada exists for French-speaking seniors in Canada outside of Quebec.Footnote 1) This study may encourage further consultation with and about OLMC seniors, including those in Quebec, so federal institutions will fully take them into consideration in the design of policies, programs, services and initiatives regarding seniors.

As well, this report may point out opportunities to enhance the vitality of OLMCs through their seniors' population and organizations throughout Canada.

1.2. Context

Population aging is a widespread trend, as indicated by the increasing proportions of seniors in most Western societies. Recognizing the importance of this phenomenon and its implications, governments have been developing policy and program frameworks to address the associated challenges and opportunities.

In Canada, considerable regional differences in population aging have been observed. However, in many regions in Canada, including Quebec, OLMCs display considerably higher proportions of seniors than does the country as a whole. In some instances, proportions of seniors in OLMCs are as high as those in Japan, which is a leading country in terms of population aging.

An initial review of seniors and aging in OLMCs—in this instance in Quebec—indicated that data and information were dispersed and fragmentary: they focused either on seniors (paying little attention to OLMCs) or on OLMCs (making scant mention of seniors). Connection between the two aspects was lacking.

Given this context and the Government of Canada's commitment under Part VII of the Official Languages Act (the Act) to enhance the vitality of OLMCs, as well as all federal institutions' duty to implement this commitment, the Office of the Commissioner saw an opportune time to describe the federal support available to seniors in general and to both OLMC seniors and their organizations in particular, and to provide a portrait of Quebec's English-speaking seniors.

March 2012 saw the creation of Seniors Action Quebec, a province-wide advocacy network of English-speaking seniors. At that time, the Quebec Community Groups Network also received a three-year provincial grant to conduct a participatory action-based project to involve seniors in identifying their needs and challenges. That project is being supported by the Quebec English-Speaking Communities Research Network.Footnote 2 It is hoped that these two recent initiatives will foster further opportunities for English-speaking seniors in Quebec.

1.3. Methodology

Our review of federal support focused on policies and programs relevant to seniors' organizations, rather than on services to individual seniors. Lists and descriptions of services are available on governments' and organizations' Web sites and in print publications. Appendix A lists some of these resources.

The study examined support from federal institutions that have a mandate regarding seniors (Human Resources and Skills Development Canada [HRSDC], for example) and those whose programs are relevant to seniors (such as Status of Women Canada [SWC]). Six departments or institutions were studied: Canadian Heritage (PCH), HRSDC (name of the institution at the time the study was carried out and appearing as such in this report, rather than under its new name, Employment and Social Development Canada), Health Canada (HC), the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and SWC.

The consultant reviewed federal government reports and parliamentary studies and the Web sites of the targeted federal institutions. This was followed by 17 semi-structured interviews with key informants in spring 2012 (see Appendix B for the interview questions) and a validation of interview findings in summer 2012. Interviews were conducted in the departments and institutions listed above, except for CIHR. For that institution, the information was obtained through a Web site review. The consultant identified the key informants in consultation with official languages personnel in the targeted institutions.

The demographic data about the situation of Quebec's English-speaking seniors is based mainly on the 2006 Canada Census,Footnote 3 Statistics Canada surveys, and other sources such as the Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN). Much of the census-based data is readily available from Statistics Canada. Most was compiled by the consultant.

In this study, OLMCs are defined as the populations or communities made up of individuals who have English or French as their first official language spoken (FOLS) and who live in a linguistic minority situation. Their FOLS is defined according to language-related census questionsFootnote 4 that Statistics Canada uses to define the English- and French-speaking populations in Canada.

This study looks at people aged 65 years and older, and refers to them as “seniors” (a term that Statistics Canada uses in its publicationsFootnote 5).

1.4. Scope and limitations

The study was not intended as an investigation or audit of federal institutions' compliance with regard to any part of the Act. Nevertheless, it does point out missed opportunities regarding the implementation of Part VII with regard to seniors.

2. International and national policy context

To put federal institutions' initiatives regarding aging and seniors into context, this section describes relevant international and national policy documents. We also look at whether and how OLMCs (English-speaking communities in Quebec, as well as French-speaking communities outside of Quebec) have been taken into consideration in policy development.

2.1. United Nations world assemblies on ageing

The first United Nations World Assembly on Ageing,Footnote 6 held in Vienna in 1982, led to the adoption of the Vienna International Plan of Action on Aging. In 1991, the United Nations Principles for Older Persons were adopted: independence, participation, care, self-fulfilment and dignity.Footnote 7

These five principles were mirrored in Canada's National Framework on Aging (NFA), developed in 1994 by the federal/provincial/territorial ministers responsible for seniors.Footnote 8 In 1998, a policy guide based on these principles was produced by Health Canada as a tool for designing and reviewing policies and programs for Canadian seniors. It contained a question on whether the policy or program addresses diverse needs, circumstances and aspirations of various subgroups within the seniors' population. However, OLMCs were mentioned only as one of many subgroups.Footnote 9

The second United Nations World Assembly on Ageing, held in 2002, saw the adoption of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing. This plan, which the Government of Canada signed, focuses on three areas: older persons and development, maintaining health and well-being into old age, and ensuring supportive environments for seniors.Footnote 10

2.2. Government of Canada's follow-up reports

In 2007, the Government of Canada produced its first follow-up report to the Madrid Plan, Addressing the Challenges and Opportunities of Ageing in Canada. The report emphasized federal achievements, presented statistics on seniors in Canada, highlighted federal actions regarding seniors and population aging, and listed Canadian resources.Footnote 11

The Government of Canada's second follow-up report (June 2012) analyzed the national aging situation and reviewed national actions taken to fulfill commitments, including in policy.Footnote 12 Below are highlights of that report.

2.2.1. National aging situation

The 2012 report notes that Canada, as other developed countries, is seeing a growing proportion of elderly persons in its population: 4.8 million seniors aged 65 years and over in 2010 (14% of the total population). That number is expected to reach 10 million (nearly 25% of the population) by 2036. The report contains data on Aboriginal seniors and those belonging to other ethno-cultural groups, but none on OLMCs. However, it does mention OLMCs as one of the targets for federal government support.

2.2.2. National policy making bodies on aging

In response to the Madrid Plan recommendation that aging be a mainstream consideration in all policy fields, the Government of Canada's 2012 follow-up report lists federal mechanisms and institutions that promote and support engagement in seniors' issues: HRSDC, the office of the Minister of State (Seniors), the National Seniors Council (NSC), and the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors Forum. The following are descriptions of the roles of these federal bodies and organizations responsible for Canada's policy on aging and seniors.

  • HRSDC oversees major initiatives regarding seniors. It is assisted by the Minister of State (Seniors), an office created in 2007 to bring issues of concern to seniors before Cabinet, Parliament and Canadians. (See section 3.2 for information on HRSDC.)
  • The NSC was established in 2007 to advise the federal government, through the minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and the Minister of Health, on questions related to the well-being and quality of life of seniors, including the opportunities and challenges of the growing and diverse aging population. Under the responsibility of the Minister of State (Seniors), the NSC conducts research and convenes expert panels and consultations with seniors and stakeholder groups. In recent years, the NSC has reported on elder abuse, low income among seniors, volunteering among seniors, positive and active aging, seniors' participation in the labour force, and intergenerational relations.Footnote 13 Our cursory review of the NCS's reports reveals that various OLMC organizations took part in their consultations, mainly national and provincial seniors' organizations in French OLMCs, as well as regional organizations in English OLMCs.Footnote 14 One of these reports, Volunteering Among Seniors and Positive and Active Ageing, mentions culturally appropriate multilingual services in the following terms:

    Participants noted the importance of ensuring that services provided to seniors in the community, in the home or in long-term care facilities, be provided in a culturally appropriate manner and in the seniors' language of choice.Footnote 15

    With regard to governance, the NCS's membership appears to be diverse, including seniors, representatives of organizations that serve the needs or interests of seniors, and experts from fields of study related to seniors and aging.Footnote 16 However, it is not clear whether OLMC membership is taken into consideration in the appointment of NCS members.
  • The Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors Forum, created in 1992, advances issues of common concern relevant to seniors' well-being and undertakes collaborative projects. It is co-chaired by the Minister of State (Seniors). In recent years, the forum has examined these issues: safety and security for seniors, financial security, healthy and active aging, and the promotion of positive images of aging.Footnote 17

2.3. Special Senate Committee on Aging

The Special Senate Committee on Aging was created in 2006 to examine the implications of an aging society in Canada. The Committee released two interim reports: Embracing the Challenge of Aging (March 2007)Footnote 18 and Issues and Options for an Aging Population (March 2008).Footnote 19 It tabled its final report, Canada's Aging Population: Seizing the Opportunity, in April 2009.Footnote 20 That report contains a subsection dedicated to OLMCs and makes related observations (summarized in the following paragraphs).

2.3.1. Senate committee observations on official language minority community seniors

The Committee observed varying proportions, across the country, of population aged 65 years and over belonging to an OLMC. It noted a faster rate of aging in the Francophone population than in the Anglophone population, particularly in rural regions due to youth leaving to seek higher education and young families leaving to find employment opportunities. However, this observation does not appear to address the rate of aging in Quebec's Anglophone OLMCs.

Nevertheless, the report lists challenges that apply to all OLMCs, Anglophone as well as Francophone:

  • Budgetary constraints impeding communities' ability to provide health services to seniors in OLMCs in the language of their choice;
  • Absence of health and social services that are culturally appropriate to OLMCs;
  • Lack of health care services in the minority language, which reduces the overall quality of care, often leading to misdiagnosis and to seniors misunderstanding the instructions for their treatment—with all of these difficulties increasing patients' anxiety levels;
  • Lack of health and social services, which puts OLMC seniors at greater risk of social isolation, especially when moving to an assisted-living or long-term care facility.

On the topics of assisted living or long-term care, the Committee heard this:

For most seniors, moving to an assisted living or long term care facility is a time of sadness and anxiety. For official language minority seniors, these feelings are compounded by the fact that often these living environments only provide services in the dominant language and culture of the region. As a result, official language minority seniors experience a greater degree of social isolation, detached not only from their homes and communities, but their language and culture as well. […] Thus for official language minority seniors, “aging in place” means not only being able to grow older in their place of choice, but also being able to live in the language and culture of their choice.Footnote 21

3. Federal institutions and programs

Few federal institutions have specific programs dedicated to seniors, and not one of them has specific programs for OLMC seniors. However, all have obligations under Part VII of the Act, which gives federal institutions a duty to take positive measures to enhance the vitality of OLMCs.Footnote 22 Initiatives undertaken under Part VII have the potential to directly benefit the development of these communities. This includes supporting their seniors who, as bearers and transmitters of the minority language and culture, shape these communities' past, present and future. Therefore, OLMCs, including Quebec English-speaking seniors and their organizations, should expect the departments described in this study to take measures on their behalf.

Departments were selected for review if they had a mandate related to OLMCs (PCH, for example) or a mandate and programs dedicated to seniors (HRSDC, for example) or if they offered programs or funding that could be of interest to OLMCs or to their seniors' organizations (Health Canada and SWC, for example). For each department the following is described (in this order): support to OLMCs, support to seniors, and support to OLMC seniors.

3.1. Canadian Heritage

PCH promotes official languages, citizenship and participation, and Canadian arts, culture and heritage. It also supports initiatives related to Aboriginal groups, youth and sports.Footnote 23

3.1.1. Official language minority community mandate and support

Under section 42 of Part VII of the Act, the department coordinates the federal government's commitment to enhance the vitality of French and English OLMCs. It does this by supporting various groups working for these communities and by facilitating other federal departments' and agencies' involvement in their development.

As well, the department enters into agreements with the provinces and territories to provide services in English and French in regions of Canada that are home to OLMCs.Footnote 24

3.1.1.1. Official Languages Support Programs Branch

PCH's Official Languages Support Programs Branch (OLSPB, which has since become the Official Languages Branch) supports the Minister in implementing Part VII of the Act. The Branch supports groups, provinces and territories in initiatives that enhance the vitality of OLMCs, and it encourages other federal institutions to do so as well.

A Community Life component enables the federal government and partners to offer OLMCs access to services in their own language, as well as infrastructure for their growth and development. The Community Life component comprises the following four sub-components:

  • Cooperation with the Community Sector;
  • Intergovernmental Cooperation on Minority-Language Services;
  • Strategic Funds; and
  • The Community Cultural Action Fund.

Details on objectives and on application and implementation requirements are available at http://www.pch.gc.ca/pgm/lo-ol/pgm/dclo-vc-eng.cfm.

3.1.2. Seniors mandate and support

PCH does not have a specific mandate, policies or programs dedicated to seniors. It works with OLMCs through grants and contributions program support. It may support seniors' groups in the same way it supports other organizations.

Nevertheless, a representative of the OLSPB is a member of the Interdepartmental Committee on Seniors chaired by HRSDC and provides official languages input on policy discussions that affect seniors.Footnote 25

3.1.3. Official language minority community seniors support

Seniors' groups are eligible for funding, since they play a key role in community life. As one informant told us, they “bring experience to the community and [make] a positive contribution to community vitality.”

National organizations such as the Fédération des aînées et aînés francophones du Canada have been receiving support from PCH for a number of years, as have Francophone seniors' associations in many provinces. These organizations have received regular core funding from year to year and may also receive funding for special projects.

Until spring 2012, no organization in Quebec had a specific mandate to serve the interests of English-speaking seniors province-wide.Footnote 26 Nevertheless, organizations such as the Quebec Community Groups Network, the English-Speaking Catholic Council, and the Coasters Association, which advocate on behalf of seniors and offer services or cultural activities for them, have received funding. Because these groups provide services to seniors as part of their regular activities, it is difficult to identify how much of their funding is dedicated to seniors. Also, over the five years that one informant referred to, PCH's Quebec Regional Office had funded nine projects targeting English-speaking seniors or intergenerational projects, with total funding of $375,000.Footnote 27

3.2. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

HRSDC delivers programs to enhance the Canadian population's skills and competencies in order to increase Canada's competitiveness in the labour market and thus increase its citizens' well-being. Its grants and contributions fund other orders of government and organizations to support projects that meet Canadians' labour market and social development needs.

Service Canada and the Labour Program are also under the responsibility of HRSDC. Service Canada helps Canadians access the Department's and the Government of Canada's programs and services, including those for individual seniors, such as the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, and the Guaranteed Income Supplement.Footnote 28

3.2.1. Official language minority community mandate and support

The key vehicle by which HRSDC supports OLMC organizations is the Enabling Fund for Official Language Minority Communities. This component of the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008-2013: Acting for the Future has been maintained in the new roadmap for 2013–2018. Under the 2008–2013 Roadmap, the fund's main objective was to enhance the development and vitality of OLMCs by strengthening their capacity in the areas of human resources and community economic development. The renewed enabling fund will support community leadership and local capacity in identifying barriers to growth and in acting on development opportunities. Funding has been granted to not-for-profit organizations that provide leadership in economic and human development matters on behalf of OLMCs in their province or territory.Footnote 29

In Quebec, this organization is the Community Economic Development and Employability Corporation (CEDEC), with its nine Community Economic Development and Employability Committees in Anglophone communities in Quebec's regions.Footnote 30 (The equivalent organization for Francophone OLMCs is the Réseau de développement économique et d'employabilité).

3.2.2. Seniors mandate and support

HRSDC plays a central role with respect to Canadian seniors. At the policy level, the Department is a focal point on seniors and population aging issues. It leads in the development and design of seniors-related policies by engaging with partners, providing policy analysis, and supporting the Minister of State (Seniors), the NSC, the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors Forum, and the Interdepartmental Committee on Seniors.Footnote 31

Through its New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP), the Department offers grants and contributions to organizations that help seniors engage in the lives of others and in their communities. The NHSP's objectives are to:

  • promote volunteer involvement among seniors and other generations;
  • engage seniors to become mentors in their communities;
  • increase the general population's awareness about elder abuse;
  • foster the participation and inclusion of seniors in the community; and
  • provide financial assistance for community projects and programs targeting seniors.Footnote 32

The NHSP has an annual budget of $45 million. Community-based projects are eligible to receive up to $25,000 per year. Pan-Canadian projects to help seniors protect themselves from elder abuse are eligible to receive up to $250,000 per year in contribution or grant funding, for up to three years.

3.2.3. Official language minority community seniors support

Among organizations and projects funded by the NHSP, some are, in effect, led in OLMCs and by their organizations. (For examples of projects, see the next text box.)

In its final report in 2009, the Special Senate Committee on Aging indicated that many witnesses had made positive comments about the NHSP. However, organizations across the country expressed some concerns, particularly Aboriginal Canadians and OLMC groups who felt they did not have equal access to funding. As a result, the Committee made recommendations that funding be made accessible to all Canadians. For instance, it urged the government to review the application process, to communicate the availability of funding to as many groups as possible, and to allow multi-year funding for certain projects.Footnote 33

In our interviews, we learned that the NHSP had actively promoted itself in OLMCs. Between 2008–2009 and the winter of 2012 at the time of the interviews, NHSP provided nearly $9 million to OLMCs.Footnote 34

Lists of approved community-based projects, grouped by province, are available on the NHSP's Web site. From the projects approved for Quebec for 2011–2012,Footnote 35 we estimate, based on the name of the organization or the project title, that some 38 projects out of a total of 526 province-wide (7%) benefitted English-speaking communities. From the total amount of funding for Quebec for that fiscal year, which was in the order of $8 million, English-speaking communities and projects would have received close to $800,000, or 10% of provincial funding. However, these numbers are estimates, since the organizations and projects listed as receiving funding under the NHSP are not identified as OLMC organizations or projects targeting OLMCs.

It would be interesting to see the trend in the submission and approval of proposals from OLMCs, since efforts have been made by HRSDC to promote the NHSP in these communities and since there is now a province-wide OLMC seniors' organization in Quebec.

These are examples of NHSP projects in Quebec, most of which were led by or in Anglophone communities. Others are also included as they could be interesting examples of projects for OLMC seniors and their organizations.

Connecting Caregivers: Reducing the Stress of Older Anglophone Caregivers in Montreal
(English Coalition of Caregivers of Montréal)

Re-integration and Social Participation of Seniors in the Community
(Filipino Canadian Association of West Island)

Social Action for Healthy and Active Aging Conference
(Quebec Community Groups Network)

Share the Love of Reading
(RECLAIM Literacy)

Pay It Forward: A Mentorship Initiative
(YES Montreal)

Two Generations – One Culinary Culture
(Bureau de la communauté haïtienne de Montréal)

In this intergenerational culinary project, seniors gave young people cooking lessons.Footnote 36

Let's Talk About Abuse

In Trois-Rivières, a group of seniors put on a play to educate seniors about elder abuse and to inform them of their rights.Footnote 37

3.3. Health Canada

The Minister of Health is responsible for maintaining and improving Canadians' health. This responsibility is supported by the Health Portfolio, which includes Health Canada, the PHAC and CIHR.Footnote 38

These are Health Canada's objectives: prevent and reduce risks to individual health and to the environment, promote healthy lifestyles, ensure access to efficient and accessible health services, foster the renewal of the health care system, take measures to reduce health inequalities in Canadian society, and provide health information to help Canadians make informed decisions.Footnote 39

3.3.1. Official language minority community mandate and support

The Official Language Community Development Bureau coordinates the implementation of Section 41 of the Act at Health Canada and takes measures to enhance the vitality of the OLMCs.Footnote 40 The Bureau ensures that Health Canada's initiatives, programs and services contribute to this goal. Initiatives dedicated to seniors are reviewed to ensure that they also recognize the particular challenges of seniors in official language minority contexts.Footnote 41

The Bureau administered Health Canada's contribution to the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008–2013: Acting for the Future, which included a funding envelope of $174.3 million for the five-year period. While renewing the Roadmap, Health Canada asked the leaders of the two communities to consult their members to find out about the health needs of English and French OLMCs. The results of the consultation in Quebec were published in 2012 in The Health and Social Service Priorities of Quebec's English-Speaking Population 2013–2018: A Document Based on the Consultation of Members of Quebec's English-Speaking Population.Footnote 42

The Roadmap for Canada's Official Languages 2013–2018: Education, Immigration, Communities, announced in March 2013, includes funding to Health Canada equivalent to the previous roadmap. Health Canada will continue to address community-specific health needs by supporting, for example, projects that increase opportunities for seniors to communicate in the official language of their choice, that help eliminate language barriers for mental health patients or that facilitate indicating patients' preferred official language in their health records.Footnote 43

3.3.2. Seniors mandate and support

Health Canada conducts research to help understand the needs of Canadian seniors and to ensure that programs and services respond to Canada's aging demographic. In collaboration with the PHAC, the Department provides information on a variety of topics related to aging and seniors.

Health Canada has two major on-line sources of information for seniors: Healthy Living: Seniors and Just for You: Seniors, which offer information on subjects such as home care, end-of-life care, prevention of falls, communication with seniors, abuse, disability, diseases and illnesses, food and nutrition, the health care system, medication, mental health, physical activity, sexuality, travel, and oral and vision care.

The Department also offers reports and publications, on topics such as the health care system, that address seniors and aging issues.

3.3.3. Official language minority community seniors support

The 2008–2013 Roadmap allocated funds to seniors-related projects, such as initiatives to improve seniors' well-being through health promotion activities and information, as well as information-dissemination initiatives to increase access to health services.

The following are examples of projects funded and led in Quebec.Footnote 44

"Improving Health Promotion Programs for Seniors on the Lower North Shore
(Coasters Association of the Lower North Shore)

This project set out to assess the need for seniors' day centres and adapted transportation, produced a health determinant profile to assist in establishing priorities, ran a health information campaign, created a volunteer bank, and collected data on the challenges that people in isolated villages face.

"Promoting Active Healthy Lifestyle Habits for Seniors on the North Shore
(North Shore Community Association)

The North Shore Community Association promoted healthy living and the participation of seniors in community life and improved access to information and the sharing of knowledge.

Caregiver Support Program
(Vision Gaspé-Percé Now)

Vision Gaspé-Percé Now worked with public and community partners to integrate existing initiatives for its local English-speaking seniors into the health and social services system.

3.4. Public Health Agency of Canada

The PHAC's mandate is notably to promote health, prevent and control chronic diseases and injuries, and prepare for public health emergencies.

3.4.1. Official language minority community mandate and support

As do other federal institutions, PHAC has obligations under Part VII of the Act. The Agency has supported OLMCs through financial contributions.Footnote 45

3.4.2. Seniors mandate and support

PHAC provides information to seniors and supports networks and partnerships. Its role has shifted away from direct contributions and towards partnerships to leverage various initiatives.Footnote 46

PHAC's Division of Aging and Seniors leads federal efforts regarding seniors' public health issues as a focal point for information and a centre of expertise on the topic. Its objectives are to influence policy development, expand the knowledge base, and engage stakeholders regarding healthy aging.Footnote 47 The Division produces and disseminates publications on aging and seniors for the general public as well as for professionals.Footnote 48

The Division is engaged in a number of seniors-related initiatives. It is responsible for the public health component of the interdepartmental Federal Elder Abuse Initiative, launched by the Government of Canada in 2008. It contributes to knowledge, tools and resources to support caregivers and public health practitioners in identifying and addressing the health risks that senior caregivers face. The Division has launched injury-prevention initiatives for seniors. With regard to emergency preparedness, the Division works with a network of stakeholders to develop resources and tools for seniors, first responders, health professionals and emergency managers.

Through this, PHAC provides leadership for the Age-Friendly Communities initiative. The World Health Organization started Global Age-Friendly Cities, an international endeavor to identify features that make communities age-friendly. Four Canadian cities took part: Saanich (British Columbia), Portage la Prairie (Manitoba), Sherbrooke (Quebec) and Halifax (Nova Scotia). Since then, the Age-Friendly Rural and Remote Communities Initiative was launched for communities with populations under 5,000. As well, PHAC has created and coordinated the Pan-Canadian Age-Friendly Communities Network to help community groups and individuals exchange ideas, practices and resources.Footnote 49 Information, guides and tools from this initiative are available through the Division of Aging and Seniors' Web site. These types of initiatives, such as the Pan-Canadian Age-Friendly Communities Network, are likely to be of interest to OLMCs.

3.4.3. Official language minority community seniors support

PHAC produces and disseminates information and makes use of existing networks and partnerships that may benefit OLMCs, including OLMC seniors' organizations. Our informant cited work done by the Fédération des aînés et des retraités francophones de l'Ontario in regard to age-friendly communities.Footnote 50 According to this informant, Quebec is a leader in the development of age-friendly communities, and PHAC works with a number of Quebec organizations.Footnote 51 However, it is unclear whether English- and French-speaking OLMCs are fully and systematically taken into consideration in Age-Friendly Communities initiatives and projects, for example, in promoting those projects, in encouraging OLMCs to take part in those ventures, and in following institutional accountability processes.

3.5. Canadian Institutes of Health Research

CIHR is responsible for funding health research in Canada.Footnote 52 This independent body provides grants and contributions for peer-reviewed high-quality research. CIHR provides funding under four themes: biomedical; clinical; health systems services; and social, cultural, environmental and population health.Footnote 53

3.5.1. Official language minority community mandate and support

Until 2012, CIHR had a specific OLMC funding initiative to promote the study of health determinants and specific needs of the two OLMCs, increase the number of researchers working on OLMC health issues, and ensure transmission of new knowledge within the health community and the OLMCs. CIHR announced that this initiative would be abolished after 2012 but that support to OLMC research would continue to be offered through ongoing programs.Footnote 54 However, it is unclear to what extent and how the regular research programs take into account the particular needs of French and English OLMCs.

3.5.2. Seniors mandate and support

CIHR has no particular mandate regarding seniors, although one of its institutes focuses on aging. CIHR established the Institute of Aging to support research on prevention, diagnosis, treatment and palliation for a wide range of conditions associated with aging. Its goal is to improve the quality of life and health of older Canadians by understanding and addressing or preventing the consequences of a wide range of factors associated with aging.Footnote 55

The Institute of Aging provides direct funding to researchers. Its priority research themes, until 2013, included health services and policy relating to older people, as well as healthy and successful aging; biological mechanisms and cognitive decline in aging; and maintenance of functional autonomy.Footnote 56

3.5.3. Official language minority community seniors support

With the elimination in 2012 of the special initiative on OLMC research, it is not clear to what extent the other CIHR research programs are taking into account the particular needs of OLMCs (including English-speaking seniors in Quebec). Nevertheless, the Institute of Aging might consider filling that role by supporting research on aging and seniors in OLMCs.

3.6. Status of Women Canada

SWC works toward the equality of women in Canadian society and their full participation in its economic, social and democratic life. It focuses on three areas: women's economic security and prosperity, women's leadership and democratic participation, and ending violence against women.Footnote 57

SWC's Women's Program provides funding and technical assistance to eligible organizations to support projects at the local, regional and national levels. Funding is available for projects lasting 36 months or less that address barriers to women's participation and equality in Canadian society in SWC's three priority areas. Funding is not provided for ongoing activities, such as an organization's operation and administration.Footnote 58 Total program funding is close to $20 million annually.Footnote 59

3.6.1. Official language minority community mandate and support

To meet its obligations under Part VII of the Act, SWC supports organizations' initiatives that target OLMC women. For example, in 2009–2010, the Quebec Community Groups Network received funding for its Leadership Building in Rural Quebec project, which developed leadership among women in rural communities. The Jamaican Canadian Community Women's League of Montreal received funding for its Dollars Make Sense / Leadership and Empowerment Project.Footnote 60

3.6.2. Seniors mandate and support

While not the primary focus of the Women's Program, projects that directly support senior women have been funded.

For example, in 2012, SWC granted $299,000 for a community project to increase the economic security and prosperity of women in rural and isolated OLMCs. Most of the leaders of that project were seniors.Footnote 61

Another example is a national project that addressed the high level of poverty and the low level of financial literacy among older women in Vancouver, Montréal and Toronto. Older Women and Financial Literacy: Bridging the Income Gap was led by the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly and the University of Toronto.Footnote 62

Éveil à l'exercice de la citoyenneté des femmes et comment l'exercer
(Association acadienne et francophone des aînées et aînés du Nouveau-Brunswick)

In 2009–2010, $200,000 was granted for this 36-month project to help older as well as younger Francophone women to develop knowledge, skills and tools in order to fully participate in decision-making bodies. An intergenerational mentorship model was developed to give young women insight on how the democratic system works.Footnote 63

Rencontre des générations
(Association acadienne et francophone des aînées et aînés du Nouveau-Brunswick)

In 2007–2008, $553,000 was allocated to a project to find solutions to the barriers faced by younger as well as older Acadian and Francophone women who live in OLMCs in the Atlantic provinces.Footnote 64

3.6.3. Official language minority community seniors support

Although SWC has no specific funding niche for senior women, some of its funds have been allocated to them. Reports on the implementation of section 41 of the Act (2009–2010 and 2007–2008), indicate that SWC has funded the projects in the preceding text box.

4. Official language minority communities' characteristics, challenges and opportunities

This section summarizes Quebec's English-speaking communities' characteristics. It then describes the challenges and opportunities for OLMC seniors and their organizations and for providing support to them, according to informants interviewed in federal institutions.

4.1. Characteristics of Quebec's English-speaking communities

Quebec is home to half of Canada's OLMC population. Based on FOLS, 994,725 English speakers lived in Quebec in 2006 and 1,058,250 in 2011. (French OLMCs outside Quebec accounted for 997,125 French speakers in 2006 and 1,007,580 in 2011.Footnote 65)

Though the challenges and opportunities for preserving and enhancing the vitality of the English-speaking and French-speaking minorities are somewhat similar, they differ in many ways across the nation, the provinces and the regions. These communities differ based, for example, on their history, geography and demography, as well as their judicial, institutional and community capacity.Footnote 66

Unlike the French-speaking minority, the challenge for the English-speaking minority is not the survival of its language. Its challenge is to ensure the community's survival and to support its vitality, including through its institutions in all regions of the province.

The situation of Anglophones living in the Greater Montréal and surrounding area must be distinguished from that of Anglophones in other regions of Quebec. Though Anglophones in the Greater Montréal area have access to infrastructure in many sectors of activity, such as education, health, the economy, and arts and culture, there are disparities across the province (and even on the island of Montréal).Footnote 67

As informants (whose comments are presented below) have suggested, and as the following section on the situation of Quebec's English-speaking seniors indicates, there are disparities between the contexts of English-speaking seniors in different regions of Quebec, between Quebec's Anglophone and Francophone seniors, and among subgroups of English-speaking seniors. This may affect Quebec's English-speaking communities and their seniors.

4.2. Challenges for official language minority community seniors

During the interviews, the key informants identified challenges that seniors in OLMCs face:

Inadequate access to services and support, particularly in the regions outside Greater Montréal

  • Services provided depend on the area and on the need identified (such as social services or judicial services). Services in rural areas tend to be of lesser quality or quantity, and non-bilingual seniors usually have to be transferred to Québec City or Montréal for services. They have few resources available to them and lack social activities, clubs, etc.
  • The situation in Montréal differs from that in the rest of Quebec, including in demographic numbers and thus in the availability of a complete range of high-quality services in the minority language.
  • Seniors in the regions tend to depend on their family, yet young people move away to find work. Seniors in that situation can find themselves alone or left to care for their grandchildren.
  • There are fewer young volunteers than there are senior volunteers.
  • OLMC seniors must deal with language barriers when accessing health services.

Increased risks of isolation

  • OLMC seniors are more at risk of isolation due to a lack of social contacts, geographic isolation, lack of mobility, and reduced cognitive abilities—which may make it hard for them to communicate their health.

Increased challenges for subgroups among OLMC seniors

  • Senior women in OLMCs may face multiple barriers, yet getting access to services in the minority language is often a problem for them.
  • The multicultural aspect of Montréal's English-speaking population creates particular needs in that region.

4.3. Challenges that federal institutions face in providing support to official language minority community seniors

In some departments, key informants identified challenges in providing support to OLMC seniors:

Absence of a provincial umbrella organization of Anglophone seniors in Quebec

  • Various informants mentioned, at the time of the interview, that the absence of an Anglophone seniors group in Quebec (along the lines of the Fédération des aînées et aînés francophones du Canada) had made it difficult to contact that population—making the provision of support adapted to their needs more difficult.

Other challenges in reaching OLMC seniors and meeting their needs

  • It is even harder to reach seniors living in OLMCs in isolated rural areas or in the North. There are typically fewer organizations providing support in these communities, and those organizations may have limited capacity or only rudimentary access to information, programs, services or funding.
  • Federal institutions must find innovative ways to meet OLMC seniors' health-related needs, considering the provincial and territorial jurisdiction of health services.

4.4. Opportunities for official language minority community seniors and their organizations

Informants suggested the following opportunities for OLMC seniors' organizations:

  • The NSC could consider soliciting representation from OLMCs;
  • OLMCs seniors' organizations could be invited to give presentations to the Interdepartmental Committee on Seniors; and
  • Though SWC's Women's Program is predominately a responsive program, members of OLMCs could benefit from it.

5. Portrait of Quebec's English-speaking seniors

This section addresses the second objective of the study. It draws a portrait of the situation of Quebec's English-speaking seniors by answering these questions: Where are they? Who are they? Who cares for them? What is their access to and use of care services?

We chose not to attempt to answer the question “How are seniors doing in Quebec?” Given the importance of health issues for seniors, particularly the eldest, a section on their health status would have been useful. However, that is beyond the scope of this study. At the time of writing, there appears to have been no comprehensive study on the health status of the Anglophone minority in Quebec and, therefore, there is scant information on the health status of English-speaking seniors in Quebec.

Nevertheless, in 2012, the Institut national de santé publique du Québec performed a study to determine the health indicators for the English-speaking community in Quebec in preparation for a larger study that will describe the overall health status of that community.Footnote 68 In that analysis, age was examined with regard to certain variables. More information on the health status of Anglophone seniors would be useful.

At the time of writing, Statistics Canada's National Household Survey 2011 data, which contains detailed social, cultural and economic information on Canadians, was not yet available. Therefore, the data in this report is based on the 2006 census. Use of the 2006 data allowed us to maintain consistency with other analytical work, including Statistics Canada studies and CHSSN publications also based on 2006 census data. Readers must keep in mind that census data provides a snapshot picture. Some of the findings, such as differences between Anglophones and Francophones in Quebec, may differ over time and are therefore to be seen only as an indication.Footnote 69

For the purpose of this report, seniors are those aged 65 and older, and language is defined as the FOLS, except where indicated otherwise. To put the presented data in context, we start by providing international and national statistics on aging.

5.1. Population aging in Canada

According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information,Footnote 70 “population aging” describes an upward shift in the age structure of a population, as a function of birth and death rates and migratory patterns to and within countries or regions. In Canada, population aging has occurred over many decades, mainly as a result of both increasing life expectancy and declining fertility rates. For many regions in Canada, population aging is also due to the out-migration of youth.

Such factors may cause variations in population aging among nations and regions, as well as among groups and communities—in this instance, OLMCs.

In Canada, seniors account for a growing proportion of the population. Between 2011 and 2031, the entire baby boom generation (that is, those born between 1946 and 1965) will turn 65. As a result, both the number and proportion of seniors in the Canadian population will climb steadily. After 2031, population aging is expected to continue, but at a slower pace.

Though there is no benchmark against which to determine whether a population is “aged,” countries such as Japan and Italy may be considered aged societies, with seniors accounting for one fifth or more of their total population in 2010 (23% and 21% respectively) and expected to account for close to one third by 2031 (32% and 28% respectively).

By comparison, in 2010, only 14% of the Canadian population was aged 65 and over. Therefore, in spite of relative population aging, the population of Canada remains younger than that of many industrialized countries.

5.1.1. Population aging by province

Not all provinces are aging at the same rate (see Table 1).

Table 1: Senior Population in Canada, Provinces and Territories, 2006
Province/Territory Population total
(no.)
Population aged 65+
(no.)
Population aged 65+
(%)
Canada 31,612,895 4,335,255 13.7
Newfoundland and Labrador 505,470 70,265 13.9
Prince Edward Island 135,855 20,185 14.9
Nova Scotia 913,460 138,215 15.1
New Brunswick 729,995 107,635 14.7
Quebec 7,546,135 1,080,285 14.3
Ontario 12,160,280 1,649,180 13.6
Manitoba 1,148,400 161,890 14.1
Saskatchewan 968,155 149,305 15.4
Alberta 3,290,350 353,410 10.7
British Columbia 4,113,485 599,810 14.6
Yukon 30,375 2,290 7.5
Northwest Territories 41,465 1,975 4.8
Nunavut 29,475 810 2.7
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population.

Variations between provinces and territories range over 10 percentage points, from a low of 2.7% of seniors in Nunavut to a high of 15.4% in Saskatchewan. Cross-provincial migration, as well as differing fertility rates and varying life expectancy, contribute to regional disparities.

Projections in Table 2 suggest that aging will increase in all provinces and that interprovincial differences are expected to widen in the future.Footnote 71 As a result, provinces with older populations are aging faster, especially the five easternmost provinces (Atlantic Canada and Quebec).Footnote 72

Table 2: Projection of the Share of the Population Comprised of Seniors in Provinces and Territories, 2011–2031
Province/Territory 2011
(%)
2016
(%)
2021
(%)
2026
(%)
2031
(%)
Newfoundland and Labrador 15.8 19.4 23.1 26.6 29.5
Prince Edward Island 15.4 18.6 21.3 24.0 26.4
Nova Scotia 16.1 19.0 22.0 25.3 28.1
New Brunswick 15.9 19.0 22.2 25.6 28.6
Quebec 15.6 17.9 20.4 23.1 25.3
Ontario 13.9 15.7 17.6 19.9 22.1
Manitoba 14.1 15.7 17.6 19.9 21.7
Saskatchewan 15.4 17.1 19.7 22.6 24.9
Alberta 11.8 13.8 16.3 19.2 21.4
British Columbia 15.1 17.2 19.6 22.0 24.1
Yukon 9.8 13.1 15.9 18.0 19.7
Northwest Territories 6.3 8.8 10.8 12.9 15.1
Nunavut 3.2 4.1 4.6 5.5 5.7
Source: Statistics Canada, A Portrait of Seniors in Canada 2006, p. 29.

5.1.2. Population aging by first official language spoken

When considering the population by FOLS,Footnote 73 Canada's two official language groups differ in their rate of aging, with Francophones having a slightly larger elderly population (13.6% versus 12.3% for English-speaking Canadians).

However, in all Canadian provinces outside Quebec, French-speaking populations comprise greater proportions of seniors than do English-speaking populations (see Table 3).

Table 3: Total Population and Seniors Aged 65+ by First Official Language Spoken (FOLS) in Canada, Provinces and Territories, 2006
Population Total FOLS English FOLS French FOLS
Canada
Total population 31,241,030 23,363,060 7,370,350
Number of population age 65+ 4,074,300 2,879,650 1,003,520
Proportion of population age 65+ 13.0% 12.3% 13.6%
Newfoundland and Labrador
Total population 500,610 497,910 1,930
Number of population age 65+ 66,190 65,685 330
Proportion of population age 65+ 13.2% 13.2% 17.1%
Prince Edward Island
Total population 134,205 129,030 5,130
Number of population age 65+ 18,845 17,785 1,045
Proportion of population age 65+ 14.0% 13.8% 20.4%
Nova Scotia
Total population 903,090 869,565 32,225
Number of population age 65+ 131,070 124,140 6,610
Proportion of population age 65+ 14.5% 14.3% 20.5%
New Brunswick
Total population 719,650 483,840 235,130
Number of population age 65+ 101,220 67,140 33,865
Proportion of population age 65+ 14.1% 13.9% 14.4%
Quebec
Total population 7,435,905 994,720 6,373,230
Number of population age 65+ 1,000,895 132,490 846,290
Proportion of population age 65+ 13.5% 13.3% 13.3%
Ontario
Total population 12,028,895 11,230,380 537,590
Number of population age 65+ 1,556,255 1,368,670 81,520
Proportion of population age 65+ 12.9% 12.2% 15.2%
Manitoba
Total population 1,133,515 1,080,230 43,120
Number of population age 65+ 151,805 139,615 9,210
Proportion of population age 65+ 13.4% 12.9% 21.4%
Saskatchewan
Total population 953,850 935,870 14,850
Number of population age 65+ 138,985 133,530 4,560
Proportion of population age 65+ 14.6% 14.3% 30.7%
Alberta
Total population 3,256,355 3,154,380 62,790
Number of population age 65+ 331,795 307,825 9,180
Proportion of population age 65+ 10.2% 9.8% 14.6%
British Columbia
Total population 4,074,385 3,891,890 61,735
Number of population age 65+ 572 430 518 875 10 705
Proportion of population age 65+ 14.0% 13.3% 17.3%
Yukon
Total population 30,195 28,885 1,185
Number of population age 65+ 2,220 2,045 110
Proportion of population age 65+ 7.4% 7.1% 9.3%
Northwest Territories
Total population 41,060 39,725 1,005
Number of population age 65+ 1 805 1 528 78
Proportion of population age 65+ 4.4% 3.8% 7.7%
Nunavut
Total population 29,325 26,608 423
Number of population age 65+ 795 335 15
Proportion of population age 65+ 2.7% 1.3% 3.6%
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population.

Four provinces (Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan) stand out, with one fifth or more of the French-speaking population being at least 65 years old. Among English-speaking populations, on the other hand, this proportion generally hovers around 10% to 14%. In Saskatchewan, in particular, the French-speaking population has twice as many senior persons (31%) in its ranks than does its English-speaking counterpart (14%).

In Quebec, French and English speakers display an identical proportion of seniors (13.3%), close to Canada's national percentage of 13.0%. However, as the next section shows, in most regions in Quebec the trend is reversed: it is the English-speaking population that includes higher proportions of seniors compared with French-speaking Quebecers.

Quebec also shows wide variations within the English-speaking community when rates of aging for specific ethno-cultural groups are examined. For example, the rate of aging in the community of Japanese origin is 15.7%, but is only 2.8% in the community of Latin American origin.Footnote 74

5.2. Where are Quebec's English-speaking seniors?

This section examines the presence of English-speaking seniors in the province's health regions and looks at more detailed age groups within the senior English-speaking population in those health regions.

5.2.1. Higher proportion in almost all regions

While Anglophones province-wide do not comprise a higher proportion of aged persons than do Francophones, regional statistics tell a different story.

In 13 of the 16 regions, the proportion of seniors is higher among Anglophones and is also higher than the Canadian aging rate, which is 13.0% (see Table 4).

In four regions (Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, Mauricie–Centre-du-Québec, Estrie, and Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine), the proportion of seniors among English speakers is near or above 20%.

Table 4: Seniors Aged 65+ by First Official Language Spoken (FOLS) in Quebec, by Health Region,Footnote 75 2006
Region English FOLS seniors
(%)
French FOLS seniors
(%)
Difference
(%)
Minority–Majority Index
Province of Quebec 13.3 13.3 0.0 1.00
01 – Bas-Saint-Laurent 14.2 15.6 -1.4 0.91
02 – Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean 19.1 14.3 +4.8 1.33
03 – La Capitale-Nationale 16.6 14.6 +2.0 1.13
04 – Mauricie–Centre-du-Québec 19.9 15.2 +4.7 1.31
05 – Estrie 22.0 13.4 +8.6 1.64
06 – Montréal 13.2 14.5 -1.3 0.91
07 – Outaouais 10.8 10.6 +0.2 1.02
08 – Abitibi-Témiscamingue 14.7 11.9 +2.8 1.23
09 – Côte-Nord 13.0 11.2 +1.8 1.16
10 – Nord-du-Québec 11.1 7.6 +3.5 1.47
11 – Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine 20.8 16.6 +4.2 1.26
12 – Chaudière-Appalaches 18.0 13.3 +4.7 1.36
13 – Laval 10.5 14.2 -3.7 0.74
14 – Lanaudière 16.1 11.5 +4.6 1.41
15 – Laurentides 17.1 11.5 +5.6 1.50
16 – Montérégie 13.7 11.9 +1.8 1.15
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population.

For Francophones, on the other hand, the proportion of aged persons is never higher than 17%, and in only three of the 16 regions (Montréal, Laval and Bas-Saint-Laurent) is the proportion of Francophone seniors higher than that of Anglophones in that region.

The right-hand column in Table 4 shows the minority-majority index, which is a ratio of the proportions found in the two groups. An index above 1.00 means that the minority group displays the characteristic (in this case, the proportion of seniors aged 65 and older) to a greater degree than the majority group.

The discrepancy is particularly acute in Estrie, which shows a minority-majority index of 1.64. Very high indices, ranging from 1.33 to 1.50, appear (in ascending order) in Saguenay–Lac-St-Jean, Chaudière-Appalaches, Lanaudière, Nord-du-Québec and Laurentides.

As these percentages show, in 2006 these OLMCs were already experiencing an advanced rate of aging—one that, according to the projections in Table 2, the most rapidly aging provinces will only see in 2021 and that the rest of Canada will begin to see in 2031.

English-speaking communities outside Montréal tend to be small and have a high proportion of seniors. This may result in specific or increased health and social services needs in communities that often have less capacity to meet these needs.

5.2.2. High number in Montréal and small numbers in many regions

Tables 5 and 6 show the number and proportion of English speakers, by health region, for two age groups: 65 to 84 and 85 and older.Footnote 76

Table 5: English-Speaking Seniors Aged 65–84, 85+ and 65+ in Quebec, by Health Region, 2006
Region Total Age 65–84 Age 85+ Age 65+
Province of Quebec 978,045 118,840 13,310 132,150
01 – Bas-Saint-Laurent 1,300 165 20 185
02 – Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean 1,835 300 50 350
03 – La Capitale-Nationale 11,840 1,715 245 1,960
04 – Mauricie–Centre-du-Québec 4,990 895 100 995
05 – Estrie 23,580 4,540 645 5,185
06 – Montréal 595,920 70,000 8,800 78,800
07 – Outaouais 58,720 5,930 425 6,355
08 – Abitibi-Témiscamingue 5,360 740 50 790
09 – Côte-Nord 5,630 695 35 730
10 – Nord-du-Québec 270 30 0 30
11 – Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine 9,505 1,805 175 1,980
12 – Chaudière-Appalaches 3,700 600 65 665
13 – Laval 68,460 6,775 390 7,165
14 – Lanaudière 10,120 1,535 95 1,630
15 – Laurentides 33,170 5,120 565 5,685
16 – Montérégie 143,645 17,995 1,650 19,645
Note: See Appendix C for corresponding data on the French-speaking population.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population.

The majority (60%) of English-speaking seniors live in Montréal, as do the majority of English-speaking Quebecers (60%). Because of this uneven distribution, provincial statistics for Anglophone seniors reflect the situation of Montréal seniors better than that of Anglophone seniors living in the rest of the province.

Table 5 also shows that there are relatively small actual numbers of seniors (especially those over 85) within the English-speaking population in various regions. For instance, in seven of the 16 regions, there are fewer than 100 people aged 85 or over. This may present challenges to providing a full range of services to these English-speaking communities and their seniors.

Considering the very small number of seniors—especially those over 84—in some communities, they are at risk of being forgotten or not seen by health authorities or by other service providers, especially in regions with a small English-speaking community with limited public services and community capacity. As well, seniors in remote regions may be at particular risk of isolation, with a limited pool of peers and networks within their linguistic and age group.Footnote 77

Table 6: Percentage of English-Speaking Seniors Aged 65–84, 85+ and 65+ in Quebec, by Health Region, 2006
Region Total
(no.)
Age 65–84
(%)
Age 85+
(%)
Age 65+
(%)
Province of Quebec 978,045 12.1 1.4 13.5
01 – Bas-Saint-Laurent 1,300 12.7 1.5 14.2
02 – Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean 1,835 16.3 2.7 19.1
03 – La Capitale-Nationale 11,840 14.5 2.1 16.6
04 – Mauricie–Centre-du-Québec 4,990 17.9 2.0 19.9
05 – Estrie 23,580 19.3 2.7 22.0
06 – Montréal 595,920 11.7 1.5 13.2
07 – Outaouais 58,720 10.1 0.7 10.8
08 – Abitibi-Témiscamingue 5,360 13.8 0.9 14.7
09 – Côte-Nord 5,630 12.3 0.6 13.0
10 – Nord-du-Québec 270 11.1 0.0 11.1
11 – Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine 9,505 19.0 1.8 20.8
12 – Chaudière-Appalaches 3,700 16.2 1.8 18.0
13 – Laval 68,460 9.9 0.6 10.5
14 – Lanaudière 10,120 15.2 0.9 16.1
15 – Laurentides 33,170 15.4 1.7 17.1
16 – Montérégie 143,645 12.5 1.1 13.7
Note: See Appendix C for corresponding data on the French-speaking population.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population.

5.3. Who are Quebec's English-speaking seniors?

This section looks at the characteristics of English-speaking seniors for certain demographic variables.

5.3.1. Slightly longer life expectancy

Life expectancy has been slightly better for Anglophones than for Francophones in Quebec (see Table 7).

Table 7: Life Expectancy at Birth in Quebec, by Gender and Language Spoken at Home, 1989–1993 and 2002–2006
Gender and timeframe English
(years)
French
(years)
Men
1989–1993 77.0 72.6
2002–2006 78.8 76.5
Women
1989–1993 83.0 80.0
2002–2006 83.2 81.8
Source: European Journal of Epidemiology, “The Life Expectancy Gap Between the Francophone Majority and Anglophone Minority of a Canadian Population,” 2012, vol. 27, p. 27–38.

According to this information,Footnote 78 life expectancy gaps favoring Anglophones decreased over time, but varied across areas of Quebec. Tobacco-related causes accounted for the majority of this gap.

5.3.2. More females than males

Similar to the Canadian population and to Francophones in Quebec, English-speaking senior populations comprise more females aged 65 and older (54.4%) than males (45.6%), due to a higher mortality rate among males. However, the proportional number of males among English-speaking seniors is slightly higher (and consequently, the proportion of females is slightly lower) than that among Francophones (see Table 8).

Table 8: Population Aged 65+ in Quebec, by Gender and First Official Language Spoken (FOLS), 2006
Gender and FOLS Seniors by gender and FOLS
(no.)
Seniors by gender and FOLS
(%)
Total
FOLS 1,000,900 100.0
Male 434,020 43.4
Female 566,880 56.6
English
FOLS 132,488 100.0
Male 60,358 45.6
Female 72,133 54.4
French
FOLS 846,293 100.0
Male 366,933 43.4
Female 479,358 56.6
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population.

5.3.3. More often married

Table 9 shows the distribution across legal marital status categories for Anglophones and Francophones for age groups 15 years and older and 65 years and older.

Table 9: Legal Marital Status of Men and Women in Quebec, by First Official Language Spoken (FOLS), 2006
Marital status Total
(%)
English FOLS
(%)
French FOLS
(%)
Age 15+ Age 65+ Age 15+ Age 65+ Age 15+ Age 65+
Total population age 15+ 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Never legally married (single) 43.4 8.4 36.1 7.1 44.8 8.7
Legally married (and not separated) 38.0 52.1 48.3 55.6 36.2 51.6
Separated, but still legally married 2.1 2.2 2.2 2.0 2.1 2.2
Divorced 10.7 9.3 8.0 8.3 11.2 9.6
Widowed 5.9 28.0 5.4 27.0 5.8 27.9
Males
Total population age 15+ 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Never legally married (single) 46.8 7.8 39.3 6.5 48.1 8.1
Legally married (and not separated) 39.0 67.4 49.7 71.7 37.1 66.5
Separated, but still legally married 2.0 2.6 2.0 2.2 1.9 2.6
Divorced 9.8 10.2 6.9 8.1 10.3 10.6
Widowed 2.4 12.1 2.2 11.5 2.4 12.1
Females
Total population age 15+ 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Never legally married (single) 40.1 8.8 32.9 7.7 41.6 9.1
Legally married (and not separated) 37.0 40.4 46.9 42.2 35.2 40.2
Separated, but still legally married 2.2 1.9 2.4 1.7 2.2 2.0
Divorced 11.5 8.6 9.2 8.4 11.9 8.8
Widowed 9.2 40.3 8.6 40.0 9.0 39.9
Note: This distribution does not take into account common-law status.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population.

Overall, English speakers tend to be more often married (and not separated) than Francophones. This difference holds for seniors, though less than for the total population (age 15+). Among Anglophone and Francophone seniors, there are many more widows than widowers. Among English-speaking seniors, women have a 40% likelihood of being widowed, while only 12% of men are widowed—proportions that are almost identical to those among Francophones.

5.3.4. Similarly living alone

As can be expected, the likelihood that someone is living alone increases with age. (See Figure 1.) The proportion of English-speaking seniors living alone in private households is similar to that of Francophones, with a difference of only two percentage points for those 65 and older and those 65–84 years of age. These proportions are practically identical for Anglophones and Francophones 85 years of age and older (50%). It may be noted that this data does not indicate other living arrangements of seniors. A Statistics Canada 2011 census publication sheds light on the various living arrangements of seniors in Canada. It does not, however, provide provincial or linguistic details.Footnote 79

Figure 1: Population Aged 15+ Living Alone in Private Households in Quebec, by Age Group and First Official Language Spoken (FOLS), 2006
Figure 1: Population Aged 15+ Living Alone in Private Households in Quebec, by Age Group and First Official Language Spoken (FOLS), 2006. Details in text following the figure.

Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population.

Description: Figure 1
Population Aged 15+ Living Alone in Private Households in Quebec, by Age Group and First Official Language Spoken (FOLS), 2006
Age English speakers French speakers
15 to 24 years 4.9% 4.7%
25 to 44 years 11.8% 12.9%
45 to 64 years 14.5% 17.5%
65 years and over 30.2% 31.9%
65 to 84 years 28.0% 30.4%
85 years and over 50.1% 50.7%

5.3.5. Higher education levels

The numbers in figures 2 and 3 show higher education levels among the English-speaking population compared with Francophones in all age groups over 15 years old. Figure 2 shows the proportion of the Quebec population, French- and English-speaking, who do not have high school certification.

Figure 2: Population Aged 15+ Without High School Certification in Quebec, by First Official Language Spoken (FOLS) and Age Group, 2006
Figure 2: Population Aged 15+ Without High School Certification in Quebec, by First Official Language Spoken (FOLS) and Age Group, 2006. Details in text following the figure.

Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population.

Description: Figure 2
Population Aged 15+ Without High School Certification in Quebec, by First Official Language Spoken (FOLS) and Age Group, 2006
Age English speakers French speakers
Total 19.8% 25.5%
15 to 24 years 31.9% 37.6%
25 to 44 years 9.7% 13.3%
45 to 64 years 17.3% 21.4%
65 years and over 36.0% 48.3%

Overall, a greater proportion of English speakers (80%) have attained high school certification relative to the French-speaking population (75%). This discrepancy is largest in the seniors' group, with a 12% difference between the two language groups of that age. In the seniors' group, almost two-thirds (64%) of Anglophones have high school certification, compared with just 52% among Francophones.

The same pattern holds regarding university education (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: Population Aged 15 and over with a University Certification in Quebec, by First Official Language Spoken (FOLS) and Age Group, 2006
Figure 3: Population Aged 15 and over with a University Certification in Quebec, by First Official Language Spoken (FOLS) and Age Group, 2006. Details in text following the figure.

Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population.

Description: Figure 3
Population Aged 15 and over with a University Certification in Quebec, by First Official Language Spoken (FOLS) and Age Group, 2006
Age English speakers French speakers
Total 24.6% 15.3%
15 to 24 years 8.4% 5.1%
25 to 44 years 34.7% 23.5%
45 to 64 years 25.8% 15.5%
65 years and over 15.1% 7.7%

English speakers have completed university in greater proportions. This is true for all age groups, with the difference more pronounced in the seniors' group: twice as many Anglophone seniors (15.1%) than Francophone seniors (7.7%) have a university degree.

Completion of high school education means higher literacy and hence better capacity to understand instructions and to adhere to medical treatment. In general, higher education is associated with more positive health habits, which can provide greater capacity to handle the adaptations required by aging and hence increase longevity.

5.3.6. Less bilingual than younger Anglophones

For seniors living in Quebec, knowledge of both official languages is an important asset. English-speaking seniors are either more bilingual than or almost as bilingual as French speakers of any age group: 47% of English-speaking seniors are bilingual, compared with rates varying (according to age group) between 13% and 49% for Francophones. However, at 47%, proportionately fewer Anglophone seniors speak both languages than do their younger counterparts (65% of people aged 45 to 64 and 71% of those aged 25 to 44).

Table 10: Knowledge of English and French in Quebec, by First Official Language Spoken (FOLS) and Age Group, 2006
Category Total FOLS English FOLS French FOLS
Total Population 7,435,905 994,728 6,373,228
Total Population: Knowledge of English and French 3,017,860 657,083 2,360,783
40.6% 66.1% 37.0%
Age 0–14 1,251,410 159,660 1,068,285
Age 0–14: Knowledge of English and French 231,695 97,995 133,705
18.5% 61.4% 12.5%
Age 15–24 944,765 134,400 808,720
Age 15–24: Knowledge of English and French 492,595 107,883 384,713
52.1% 80.3% 47.6%
Age 25–44 2,070,820 313,505 1,749,930
Age 25–44: Knowledge of English and French 1,078,920 223,165 855,755
52.1% 71.2% 48.9%
Age 45–64 2,168,000 254,678 1,899,998
Age 45–64: Knowledge of English and French 889,870 165,873 723,993
41.0% 65.1% 38.1%
Age 65+ 1,000,900 132,488 846,288
Age 65+: Knowledge of English and French 324,775 62,163 262,618
32.4% 46.9% 31.0%
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population.

In situations where service in English is not available, more than half (53%) of English-speaking seniors may find themselves in a vulnerable position and depend on younger family members for interpretation or as intermediates to obtain services, in English or in French. This situation can put these seniors in a difficult position where health issues are concerned.

For the more than half of English-speaking seniors who are not bilingual, provision of programs, services and information in English is indispensable, whether provided at the federal, provincial, municipal or community level.

5.3.7. Higher proportion still in the labour force

In the future, more Canadians are expected to remain in the workforce past retirement age,Footnote 80 but the current proportion of seniors who still work after their 65th birthday is relatively modest. Nevertheless, it is one third higher (12%) among English-speaking seniors than among French-speaking seniors (7.5%). (See Figure 4.)

Figure 4: Population Aged 15+ in the Labour Force in Quebec, by First Official Language Spoken and Age Group (FOLS), 2006
Figure 4: Population Aged 15+ in the Labour Force in Quebec, by First Official Language Spoken and Age Group (FOLS), 2006. Details in text following the figure.

Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population.

Description: Figure 4
Population Aged 15+ in the Labour Force in Quebec, by First Official Language Spoken and Age Group (FOLS), 2006
Age English speakers French speakers
Total 64.6% 65.3%
15 to 24 years 57.2% 64.5%
25 to 44 years 82.7% 87.8%
45 to 64 years 75.3% 70.7%
65 years and over 12.0% 7.5%

We do not know whether these working seniors are doing so out of necessity or choice. Depending on the reason for working past retirement age, a longer working period could have a positive or negative effect on health and longevity.

5.3.8. Higher proportion of immigrants

In Quebec, the English-speaking population includes a higher proportion of immigrants than does the French-speaking majority (see Figure 5).

Striking differences are present between the two language groups and for every age group except the youngest.

Nearly one third of English speakers in Quebec were born in another country, which is more than four times that in the French-speaking population. Among English-speaking seniors, nearly half are immigrants, whereas this proportion is less than 10% among French-speaking seniors.Footnote 81

Figure 5: Immigrant Population in Quebec, by First Official Language Spoken and Age Group (FOLS), 2006
Figure 5: Immigrant Population in Quebec, by First Official Language Spoken and Age Group (FOLS), 2006. Details in text following the figure.

Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population.

Description: Figure 5
Immigrant Population in Quebec, by First Official Language Spoken and Age Group (FOLS), 2006
Age English speakers French speakers
Total 32.5% 7.6%
0 to 14 years 6.7% 4.4%
15 to 24 years 18.6% 5.9%
25 to 44 years 36.8% 10.5%
45 to 64 years 43.8% 7.4%
65 years and over 45.7% 8.1%

5.3.9. Higher proportion of visible minorities

The proportion of visible minorities is also higher among Anglophones. Members of visible minorities make up nearly a quarter (about 24%) of the total Quebec English-speaking population, whereas they account for only 6% of the total French-speaking population (see Table 11).

Table 11: Visible Minorities in the Total Population and Among Seniors in Quebec, by First Official Language Spoken (FOLS), 2006
Population Total population Population age 65+
English-speaking population 994,723 132,483
English-speaking population Visible minorities (no.) 240,298 14,525
English-speaking population Visible minorities (%) 24.2 11.0
French-speaking population 6,373,228 846,288
French-speaking population Visible minorities (no.) 377,313 14,560
French-speaking population Visible minorities (%) 5.9 1.7
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population.

Though only 11.0% of English-speaking seniors are members of a visible minority, this is still six times larger than the proportion among their French-speaking counterparts (which is not quite 2%).

We can assume that the English-speaking visible-minority seniors are concentrated in Montréal, since Montréal is home to 78.4% of Quebec's visible-minority members.Footnote 82

5.3.10. Similar proportion living in poverty

Figure 6 shows the percentage of Anglophones and Francophones living below the low-income cut-off, a benchmark that Statistics Canada developed as an indication of poverty.Footnote 83

Figure 6: Population Aged 15+ Living Below the Low-Income Cut-Off in Quebec, by First Official Language Spoken (FOLS) and Age Group, 2006
Figure 6: Population Aged 15+ Living Below the Low-Income Cut-Off in Quebec, by First Official Language Spoken (FOLS) and Age Group, 2006. Details in text following the figure.

Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population.

Description: Figure 6
Population Aged 15+ Living Below the Low-Income Cut-Off in Quebec, by First Official Language Spoken (FOLS) and Age Group, 2006
Age English speakers French speakers
Total 22.0% 16.0%
15 to 24 years 26.8% 18.1%
25 to 44 years 23.9% 14.8%
45 to 64 years 18.6% 14.0%
65 years and over 18.9% 19.5%
65 to 84 years 17.9% 18.6%
85 years and over 27.7% 30.1%

The proportions of Anglophone and Francophone seniors living below the low-income cut-off are almost identical (18% to 19%). For those aged 85 and over, this proportion climbs to an alarming 28% among Anglophones and 30% among Francophones.

These numbers are contrary to the widespread belief that Anglophones in Quebec are generally financially advantaged. A sizeable proportion of the English-speaking elderly live below the low-income cut-off. And the older they are, the more likely they are to be in that vulnerable situation.

The higher proportion of younger English speakers who are living below the low-income cut-off is also cause for concern. Their current difficult financial situation may lessen their capacity to look after older parents, and it may lessen their well-being as they age.

5.4. Who is caring for Quebec's English-speaking seniors?

This section deals with the younger-generation caregivers who may be called on to assist their older relatives, as well as the professionals who provide health services to seniors. This section also examines access to health information and the use of health services.

5.4.1. Fewer caregivers

For seniors, the number of caregivers, including family or friends, who are available to provide assistance when needed can affect their quality of life, including their ability to maintain their independence. Due to the age structure of the English-speaking minority,Footnote 84 caregivers may be in short supply, especially in regions where the rate of aging is higher.

Figure 7 shows the minority-majority index based on the relative proportion of English and French speakers across the different age groups. Relative to French speakers province-wide, there are proportionately more Anglophone seniors aged 75 and over (and particularly more very elderly seniors), yet fewer adults in their middle years (aged 45–64), as well as fewer young seniors (aged 65–74). Younger adults (aged 20–39), on the other hand, are found in greater proportion among Anglophones than among Francophones.

This dip in the curve has been called the “missing middle:” the English-speaking population has larger proportions among its very elderly and its younger age groups than does the French-speaking population.Footnote 85

Figure 7: Minority-Majority Index in Quebec, by Age Group and First Official Language Spoken (FOLS), 2006
Figure 7: Minority-Majority Index in Quebec, by Age Group and First Official Language Spoken (FOLS), 2006. Details in text following the figure.

Note: For complete data, see Appendix D.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population.

Description: Figure 7

There is a higher proportion of Anglophones among the 75 and over and young adults (20-39) age categories.

As a result of the missing middle, the present generation of English-speaking seniors, and particularly the most elderly, may be short of caregivers—at least in certain regions. The numbers in Figure 7 are consistent with this interpretation.

If the caregiving years are considered to take place between the ages of 35 and 54, a caregiver-to-senior ratio can be calculated using the number of persons of caregiving age and the number of seniors. A low ratio indicates that there are fewer potential caregivers to provide assistance to seniors,Footnote 86 as shown in Table 12.

Table 12: Caregiver-to-Senior Ratio and Minority-Majority Index (MMI) in Quebec, by First Official Language Spoken (FOLS) and Health Region, 2006
Region English FOLS French FOLS
Age 35–54 Age 65+ Caregiver- to-senior ratio Age 35–54 Age 65+ Caregiver-to-senior ratio MMI
Province of Quebec 315,551 132,486 2.38 2,013,596 846,286 2.38 1.00
Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine 2,881 1,996 1.44 27,791 13,861 2.00 0.72
Bas-Saint-Laurent 491 210 2.34 61,411 30,325 2.03 1.15
La Capitale-Nationale 3,891 1,959 1.99 197,636 93,139 2.12 0.94
Chaudière-Appalaches 1,204 643 1.87 119,109 50,843 2.34 0.80
Estrie 6,611 5,166 1.28 81,196 36,261 2.24 0.57
Centre-du-Québec 896 425 2.11 66,006 29,790 2.22 0.95
Montérégie 46,483 19,644 2.37 384,688 141,174 2.72 0.87
Montréal 186,543 78,794 2.37 351,703 171,649 2.05 1.16
Laval 23,251 7,171 3.24 92,881 41,306 2.25 1.44
Lanaudière 3,654 1,627 2.25 136,729 47,457 2.88 0.78
Laurentides 10,504 5,689 1.85 157,059 54,099 2.90 0.64
Outaouais 19,604 6,321 3.10 93,219 29,531 3.16 0.98
Abitibi-Témiscamingue 1,791 783 2.29 44,376 16,288 2.72 0.84
Mauricie 820 528 1.55 78,655 41,273 1.91 0.81
Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean 592 350 1.69 85,187 38,245 2.23 0.76
Côte-Nord 1,841 711 2.59 29,941 9,926 3.02 0.86
Nord-du-Québec 4,463 373 11.97Footnote 87 6,023 1,138 5.29 2.26
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population.

Province-wide, the caregiver-to-senior ratio is identical for Francophones and Anglophones (2.38 potential caregivers per senior). This is also the case in the Outaouais region, where a high ratio of 3.1 is obtained for Anglophones and Francophones alike.

However, in 13 out of 17 regions, there are fewer potential caregivers per senior in the English-speaking population. The widest discrepancies are in Estrie and Laurentides. The Estrie region has 1.28 Anglophone caregivers per Anglophone senior—about half the number of caregivers available in the majority population of the same region (2.24). This results in a minority-majority index of 0.57.

5.4.2. Greater unpaid care to seniors

The amount of unpaid care being provided by family members or friends to senior citizens is an indication of the stress being put on caregivers and on the needs of those receiving the care.

In Canada, 3.1% of the population provides unpaid care to seniors 10 hours or more weekly. The same proportion of English-speaking Quebecers provides unpaid care to their older relatives or friends, while among French-speaking Quebecers, this percentage is 2.3%, according to 2006 Census data (see appendix E).

5.4.3. Significant participation in health and social services

Figure 8 shows a significant number of Anglophones working in the health and social services sector. For all age groups, the difference between the representation of Francophones and Anglophones is only about 2%, while for workers aged 65 years old, their relative presence is almost equal.

Figure 8: Worker Participation in Health Care and Social Services in Quebec by First Official Language Spoken (FOLS) and Age Group, 2006
Figure 8: Worker Participation in Health Care and Social Services in Quebec by First Official Language Spoken (FOLS) and Age Group, 2006. Details in text following the figure.

Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population.

Description: Figure 8
Worker Participation in Health Care and Social Services in Quebec by First Official Language Spoken (FOLS) and Age Group, 2006
Age English speakers French speakers
Total 8.7% 11.4%
15 to 24 years 4.7% 6.5%
25 to 44 years 8.5% 11.9%
45 to 64 years 10.5% 12.8%
65 years and over 9.2% 8.5%

Nevertheless, while health and social services professionals may contribute to determining the allocation of resources and the type of services to be offered, planning for services is also carried out by civil servants. These civil servants may or may not be aware of Quebec's Anglophone community and its specific needs.

Data from a 2010 Statistics Canada study on the English-speaking population of Quebec indicates that Anglophones make up only 2.8% of Quebec's public service.Footnote 88 With the limited participation of Anglophones in provincial institutions, some opportunities for connecting and networking between these institutions and the English-speaking communities and vice versa may be missed.

5.4.4. Availability of health professionals

Access to health services is a major concern for all Canadians, but Canadians in OLMCs also deal with finding professionals who are available in their region and who speak their language. Access to health services in one's language is particularly crucial for seniors. Based on a Statistics Canada study on health care professionals and OLMCs,Footnote 89 this section provides data on total numbers of health professionals in Quebec and on those who are able to provide services in the minority language, as an indicator of access to health services in that language.

We start by providing general figures about the number of health professionals in Quebec. Table 13 shows the number of health professionals available in Quebec compared with the rest of Canada.

Table 13: Health Care Professionals in Canada and in Quebec, by Profession, 2006 (number per 100,000 inhabitants)
Type of Professional Canada other than Quebec
(no. per 100,000 inhabitants)
Quebec
(no. per 100,000 inhabitants)
Health care professionals
Doctors 129 142
Nurses 898 825
Psychologists 46 95
Social workers 159 150
Other health care professionals 1,988 2,259
Source: Statistics Canada, Health Care Professionals and Official-Language Minorities in Canada, Catalogue 91-550-X.

In Quebec, relative to the rest of Canada, per 100,000 habitants, there are slightly fewer nurses and social workers but more doctors and twice as many psychologists. The number of health care workers in other professions is also greater in Quebec. Overall, the number of health professionals in Quebec is comparable to that in the rest of Canada.Footnote 90

Table 14 shows the number of health care professionals in Quebec who are able to conduct a conversation in English, as well as the proportion who use the minority language in their practice at least regularly.

Table 14: Health Care Professionals in Quebec with a Knowledge of English and Who Use English at Least Regularly at Work, by Profession, 2006
Quebec
Health care professionals Total
(no.)
Knowledge of English
(no.)
Knowledge of English
(%)
Use English at least regularly at work
(no.)
Use English at least regularly at work
(%)
Doctors 10,540 9,025 85.5 5,395 51.1
Nurses 61,320 27,535 44.9 22,555 36.8
Psychologists and social workers 18,230 10,125 55.5 5,365 29.4
Other health care professionals 167,940 83,135 49.5 59,530 35.4
Total 258,030 129,820 50.3 92,845 36.0
Note: “At least regularly” includes, in this case, health professionals who declared, in the Census question on language of work, that they use this language most often (alone or with another language), or regularly (alone or with another language).
Source: Statistics Canada, Health Care Professionals and Official-Language Minorities in Canada, Catalogue 91-550-X.

A high percentage of health care professionals, especially doctors (85.5%), are able to speak English. The lowest level of bilingualism is among nurses, at 45%.

The percentage of professionals who use the minority language at least regularly at work varies from about 30% among psychologists and social workers to more than 50% among doctors.

However, there are regional variations, both in the level of bilingualism and in the use of the minority language (see Table 15).

Table 15: Health Care Professionals in Quebec with a Knowledge of English and Who Use English at Least Regularly at Work, by Region, 2006
Quebec
Region Total
(no.)
Knowledge of English
(no.)
Knowledge of English
(%)
Use English at least regularly at work
(no.)
Use English at least regularly at work
(%)
Total 258,030 129,820 50.3 92,845 36.0
East 13,725 3,860 28.1 2,305 16.8
Estrie and South 19,425 9,890 50.9 7,645 39.4
Montréal 126,800 80,915 63.8 67,130 52.9
West 13,210 7,530 57.0 6,310 47.8
Québec City and surrounding area 51,790 16,390 31.6 4,360 8.4
Rest of Quebec 33,080 11,215 33.9 5,095 15.4
Source: Statistics Canada, Health Care Professionals and Official-Language Minorities in Canada, Catalogue 91-550-X.

The level of bilingualism among health care professionals remains quite high even at the regional level, with the lowest proportions in the East region (28%) and in the Québec City area (32%). Not surprisingly, the highest rate of professionals with knowledge of English (almost 64%) is in Montréal.

The proportion of health care professionals who use English at least regularly in their practice at the provincial level is 36%—and in Montréal, this figure is almost 53%. It is important to note that the number and proportion of bilingual professionals are always greater than the number and proportion that use the language at least regularly in their practice. This discrepancy may be due, at least in part, to lack of opportunity to use the English language in their work in regions with few Anglophones.

In all regions, the proportion of health professionals who can speak English is greater than the proportion of English-speaking residents. Though this does not necessarily mean that all needs are being met, it does demonstrate the fair representation of professionals who can speak English relative to the English-speaking population.

Table 16: English-Speaking Population in Quebec, by Region, 2006
Region No. %
Total 994,720 13.4
East 16,430 4.3
Estrie and South 51,210 8.7
Montréal 800,600 22.3
West 64,075 13.3
Québec City and surrounding area 17,375 1.3
Rest of Quebec 45,030 4.1
Source: Statistics Canada, Health Care Professionals and Official-Language Minorities in Canada, Catalogue 91-550-X.

Nevertheless, considering the overall shortage of health care professionals in relation to the actual needs, particularly in rural areas and in certain professional sectors, English-speaking patients may give up looking for a doctor, specialist or professional who can speak their language and decide to see any health care professional who is available.

5.5. Seniors' access to and use of public services and information

This section examines Anglophone and Francophone seniors' use of the various health services and the availability of information on health and social services in their language.

The findings are based on a CROP-CHSSN survey on access to information on health and social services and use of these services. Tables 17 and 18 present data for persons aged 60 years and over, both French and English.Footnote 91

Table 17: Access to Health and Social Services and Access to Information on those Services among Seniors Aged 60+, by Language Group in Quebec, 2010
Language Group English speakers
(%)
French speakers
(%)
Respondents who used the following services in the past 12 months
Doctor's services in a private office or clinic 77.0 74.2
CLSC services 55.5 44.5
Info-Santé services 16.9 29.1
Hospital emergency room or outpatient clinic 48.1 48.3
Hospital with at least one overnight stay 23.4 23.0
Respondents who received information in their own language in the past two years
Received information about public health and social services 47.7 55.1
Source of information received by respondents in their own language
Public health and social service institutions 39.1 44.7
Community organization 36.4 34.7
Newspaper 14.3 13.5
Means by which respondents obtained information in their own language
Telephone call or visit 25.4 44.3
Information meeting 11.3 18.5
Flyers in public location 63.6 53.7
Web site 8.2 17.0
Other 13.8 20.4
Note: Questions varied for English and French respondents. Questions for the former addressed access to services in English whereas the language was not specified for French respondents.
Source: Community Health and Social Services Network, Access to Health and Social Services: A Comparison of French & English-language CROP-CHSSN Survey Samples.

Regarding use of the various services, English and French speakers aged 60 and over had used the hospital emergency room and consulted a doctor in a private office in similar proportions. However, English speakers tended to use CLSC services more often and Info-Santé less frequently than did their French counterparts.

Less than half of Anglophone seniors (48%) had received information about health and social services in English.

Proportionally fewer English-speaking respondents obtained information in English on those services from public health and social service institutions. Instead, information reached them via community organizations (possibly English-speaking organizations that disseminate information in English) and newspapers.

The means by which respondents obtained information on public health and social services differed notably between English-speaking persons over the age of 59 and their French-speaking equivalents. A much smaller proportion of English speakers had obtained the information via telephone, a visit, a Web site or a meeting. They more frequently got their information from flyers they picked up in public locations than did Francophones.

This pattern may be due to behavioural differences, but it may also suggest a shortage of certain types of communication in English (that is, telephone service, public information meetings, or Web sites), requiring English speakers to resort to more haphazard ways of finding information, such as picking up flyers in public places.

The survey also asked seniors where they would seek support in case of illness. English-speaking seniors appear to rely more frequently on relatives (66%) than do French speakers (58%), whereas all respondents had relied on friends, community resources, and public health and social service institutions in similar proportions.

Table 18: Source of Support in Case of Illness for English- and French-speaking Seniors Aged 60+ in Quebec, 2010
Source of support English speakers
(%)
French speakers
(%)
Relatives 65.9 58.0
Friends 10.7 11.1
Community resource 3.3 3.3
Public health and social service institutions 16.8 18.7
Nobody 2.0 5.1
Other 1.3 3.7
Source: Community Health and Social Services Network, Access to Health and Social Services: A Comparison of French & English-language CROP-CHSSN Survey Samples.

6. Conclusions and recommendations

This study explored federal policy and program support to seniors in OLMCs, as well as the situation of Quebec's English-speaking seniors. A cursory review of available information and data on OLMC seniors, particularly Quebec's English-speaking seniors, showed that information was fragmentary and dispersed: most of it focused either on seniors or on OLMCs.

The first component of the study examined federal policy and program support for seniors in general and, in particular, for OLMC seniors and their organizations. National policy on seniors and aging, with its accompanying array of consultative or governing bodies, frameworks, mechanisms and tools, does seem to take OLMC seniors into account to some degree. However, it is not clear whether national policy systematically and fully considers OLMCs—French as well as English—in accordance with the Government of Canada's commitment under Part VII of the Act, particularly considering the high rate of aging in OLMCs across Canada.

Two federal institutions have key policy roles relevant to either OLMCs or seniors: PCH, in its coordination role of Part VII in support to OLMCs' development, and HRSDC, in its support functions to federal policy bodies responsible for seniors.

The two institutions do connect: for example, with HRSDC's Interdepartmental Committee on Seniors and PCH's participation in that committee.

However, there may be further opportunities for coordination to ensure that seniors in both OLMCs are consulted and considered in the development of policies that concern seniors. Regarding this, we noted that the Special Senate Committee on Aging recommended that the federal government establish effective interdepartmental collaboration on official language minority seniors that includes their participation in advisory groups.Footnote 92 It is expected that the creation of Seniors Action Quebec, a new provincial organization representing Quebec's English-speaking seniors, will facilitate the connection between federal policy bodies that deal with seniors' issues and OLMC seniors and their organizations in Quebec.

Consequently, the Commissioner of Official Languages makes this recommendation:

Recommendation 1

Federal institutions whose activities affect English-speaking seniors in Quebec and French-speaking seniors outside Quebec, especially Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (now Employment and Social Development Canada) and Canadian Heritage, should take measures to ensure that representatives of these groups are systematically consulted in the development and implementation of policies and programs that affect seniors. These institutions should also ensure that programs and support available to seniors are promoted in a targeted manner in official language minority communities. The Commissioner expects these institutions to report on these measures by March 31, 2015.

Federal funding appears to be geared either to OLMCs or to seniors, although OLMC seniors may be among the program beneficiaries. In the absence of federal programs geared specifically to OLMC seniors, the Commissioner of Official Languages makes this recommendation:

Recommendation 2

For federal funding programs offered by Canadian Heritage, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (now Employment and Social Development Canada), Health Canada and Status of Women Canada, the funding institutions should identify programs of interest to seniors and ensure that representatives of seniors' groups in official language minority communities are systematically informed and encouraged to submit proposals for projects. For accountability purposes, the funding institutions should record the status of proposals and of approved projects benefitting official language minority communities. The Commissioner expects the above-mentioned institutions to report on measures taken in this regard by March 31, 2015.

This study provides only a glimpse into the situation of Quebec's English-speaking seniors. Nevertheless, the findings show that several regions of Quebec have higher rates of aging in their English-speaking population—rates comparable to countries with the highest aging populations. Quebec's English-speaking senior population contains a much higher proportion of immigrants and of visible minorities than does the French-speaking senior population in Quebec. In addition, a high proportion of Anglophone seniors live below the low-income cut-off. Finally, the shortage of caregivers may be more acute for Anglophone seniors than for Francophones.

Less than half of the English-speaking seniors—and fewer of the oldest—are bilingual, which points out a problem regarding equitable access to and use of public services and information if government and non-governmental organizations do not provide them in English. According to a CHSSN survey, not quite half of Anglophone seniors had had access to information on health and social services in English; census data shows wide disparities across regions in the availability of health professionals who speak English. Thus, the need for services in English may not always be met.

Though these findings are exploratory, they indicate that further research is warranted. For instance, we are not yet able to completely describe the situation of seniors at the regional level. Regional data would help, considering that situations can differ drastically from one region to another, especially between Montréal and the rest of the province. Supported by the Quebec English-Speaking Communities Research Network, a wide consultation is currently underway to obtain local information on seniors' needs and the services provided to them. The Institut national de santé publique is studying health indicators and the health status of Quebec's English-speaking population. Yet, in terms of research and analysis on the situation of Quebec's English-speaking seniors in particular, there is still much work to be done on various issues.

The Commissioner of Official Languages therefore makes this recommendation:

Recommendation 3

According to their research capacity, Canadian Heritage, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (now Employment and Social Development Canada), Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Status of Women Canada should consult with the appropriate experts to identify research gaps that concern official language minority community seniors and undertake a coordinated interdepartmental effort to conduct or support research to fill these knowledge gaps.

In the future, seniors will constitute a larger part of our society, and this is especially true in OLMCs. Rather than being seen as a cause for additional costs to society, seniors should be considered as a source of experience and skills. They are an asset to any community. Seniors are living longer and healthier lives. Many participate fully in initiatives and activities that foster community spirit, and they provide invaluable services to their peers and to other members of the community. In OLMCs, seniors also play an important role in the transmission of language and culture. Thus, the presence of seniors who are able to remain as healthy and active as possible is essential to community vitality.

We hope that the Government of Canada will recognize the important contributions that OLMC seniors make to their communities and take the necessary measures to protect and enhance that contribution.

Appendix A

Information on Services for Individual Seniors

Government of Canada

Seniors.gc.ca, Information for Seniors. On-line version accessed January 25, 2013.
Provides customized access to programs and services according to provinces and territories or according to needs.

Service Canada, Services for Seniors. On-line version accessed January 24, 2013.

Service Canada, Services for Seniors Guide. On-line PDF version accessed January 25, 2013.

Government of Quebec

Services Québec – Citoyens, Programs and Services for Seniors 2012–2013. On-line version accessed January 25, 2013.

Community Organizations

Quebec Community Groups Network, QuebecSeniors.Info, Database of English Services for Seniors. On-line version accessed January 25, 201.

Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors, Social Action Department, A Guide for Seniors and their Families on Government Programs and Services, July 2011. On-line version accessed on January 25, 2013.

West Island Community Resource Centre, West Island Seniors' Index. On-line version accessed January 25, 2013.

Outaouais Health and Social Services Network, Directory of Services for English-speaking Seniors, 2010. On-line PDF version accessed January 25, 2013.

Appendix B

Interview Questions

Support to seniors in general

  1. What is the general mandate of your institution or branch with respect to individual seniors and/or to organizations serving seniors? (For institutions or branches which offer both, the set of questions below will be directed to individual support followed by support to organizations.)
  2. What type(s) of support does your institution or branch provide to seniors (programs, services, funding, information and/or other)? Please list and describe the types of support offered and provide me with sources where further information can be found.
  3. What is the rationale for provision of these types of support to seniors? Are particular age groups targeted?
  4. How would you describe the context of implementation for these types of support?
  5. What mechanisms are used for the delivery and/or dissemination of these types of support? For example: In the case of support through funding, what are the admissibility criteria? In the case of support through information, what are the strategies and means for dissemination?

Support to seniors in official language minority communities in particular

  1. Are official language minority communities (Anglophones in Quebec and Francophones elsewhere in Canada) taken into account in the design, delivery and dissemination of the types of support provided to seniors by your institution or branch? Please elaborate.
  2. Are you (or is your branch) aware of particular challenges for seniors in official language minority communities? Please elaborate.
  3. To your knowledge, has your institution or branch received requests for support to seniors in official language minority communities? Please elaborate.
  4. To your knowledge, are there particular challenges in providing support to seniors living in official language minority communities? If so, for which communities? Please elaborate.
  5. Has the support provided by your institution or branch to seniors in general and/or in official language minority communities in particular been successful? If so, please elaborate and provide examples.

Appendix C

Quebec's French-Speaking Seniors, by Age Group and Health Region, 2006

Region Total Age 65–84 Age 85+ Age 65+
Province of Quebec 6,369,265 780,825 65,430 846,255
01 – Bas-Saint-Laurent 194,625 27,870 2,440 30,310
02 – Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean 267,290 35,385 2,850 38,235
03 – La Capitale-Nationale 636,530 84,925 8,220 93,145
04 – Mauricie–Centre-du-Québec 466,360 65,695 5,375 71,070
05 – Estrie 269,745 33,150 3,105 36,255
06 – Montréal 1,182,490 155,880 15,770 171,650
07 – Outaouais 278,285 27,495 2,050 29,545
08 – Abitibi-Témiscamingue 136,355 15,235 1,050 16,285
09 – Côte-Nord 88,445 9,435 485 9,920
10 – Nord-du-Québec 14,570 1,075 30 1,105
11 – Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine 83,640 12,715 1,140 13,855
12 – Chaudière-Appalaches 383,470 46,675 4,165 50,840
13 – Laval 290,765 38,420 2,890 41,310
14 – Lanaudière 414,115 44,495 2,965 47,460
15 – Laurentides 471,945 50,890 3,200 54,090
16 – Montérégie 1,190,635 131,485 9,695 141,180
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population.
Region Total
(no.)
Age 65–84
(%)
Age 85+
(%)
Age 65+
(%)
Province of Quebec 6,369,265 12.3 1.0 13.3
01 – Bas-Saint-Laurent 194,625 14.3 1.3 15.6
02 – Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean 267,290 13.2 1.1 14.3
03 – La Capitale-Nationale 636,530 13.3 1.3 14.6
04 – Mauricie–Centre-du-Québec 466,360 14.1 1.2 15.2
05 – Estrie 269,745 12.3 1.2 13.4
06 – Montréal 1,182,490 13.2 1.3 14.5
07 – Outaouais 278,285 9.9 0.7 10.6
08 – Abitibi-Témiscamingue 136,355 11.2 0.8 11.9
09 – Côte-Nord 88,445 10.7 0.5 11.2
10 – Nord-du-Québec 14,570 7.4 0.2 7.6
11 – Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine 83,640 15.2 1.4 16.6
12 – Chaudière-Appalaches 383,470 12.2 1.1 13.3
13 – Laval 290,765 13.2 1.0 14.2
14 – Lanaudière 414,115 10.7 0.7 11.5
15 – Laurentides 471,945 10.8 0.7 11.5
16 – Montérégie 1,190,635 11.0 0.8 11.9
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population.

Appendix D

Age Groups in Quebec, by First Official Language Spoken, Minority-Majority Index (MMI), 2006

Age group Total
(no.)
English
(no.)
French
(no.)
English
(%)
French
(%)
MMI
Total population by age group (years) 7,435,905 994,723 6,373,228 100.0 100.0
0–4 375,170 45,163 310,318 4.5 4.9 0.93
5–9 398,485 52,925 342,565 5.3 5.4 0.99
10–14 477,760 61,568 415,403 6.2 6.5 0.95
15–19 474,110 64,463 409,048 6.5 6.4 1.01
20–24 470,660 69,938 399,673 7.0 6.3 1.12
25–29 490,825 68,813 420,653 6.9 6.6 1.05
30–34 464,715 74,613 388,523 7.5 6.1 1.23
35–39 499,780 83,688 414,118 8.4 6.5 1.29
40–44 615,495 86,395 526,635 8.7 8.3 1.05
45–49 640,420 78,243 559,193 7.9 8.8 0.90
50–54 583,990 67,225 513,650 6.8 8.1 0.84
55–59 520,015 62,265 454,255 6.3 7.1 0.88
60–64 423,575 46,945 372,900 4.7 5.9 0.81
65–69 309,780 38,080 267,215 3.8 4.2 0.91
70–74 262,495 32,835 224,405 3.3 3.5 0.94
75–79 209,710 28,528 175,593 2.9 2.8 1.04
80–84 136,875 19,730 113,635 2.0 1.8 1.11
85+ 82,035 13,313 65,438 1.3 1.0 1.30
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population.

Appendix E

Unpaid Care to Seniors Weekly, by Province and Territory and by First Official Language Spoken (FOLS), Minority-Majority Index (MMI), 2006

Province/Territory Total
FOLS
English
FOLS
French
FOLS
English
FOLS
French
FOLS
MMI
Total population age 15+ by hours spent providing unpaid care or assistance to seniors 10 hours or more of unpaid care or assistance to seniors weekly Total population age15+ by hours spent providing unpaid care or assistance to seniors weekly 10 hours or more of unpaid care or assistance to seniors weekly Total population age15+ by hours spent providing unpaid care or assistance to seniors weekly 10 hours or more of unpaid care or assistance to seniors weekly 10 hours or more of unpaid care or assistance to seniors weekly 10 hours or more of unpaid care or assistance to seniors weekly 10 hours or more of unpaid care or assistance to seniors weekly
(no.) (%) MMI
Canada 25,664,225 779,920 19,080,770 616,453 6,177,145 147,968 3.2 2.4 0.74
Newfoundland and Labrador 422,385 17,830 420,153 17,770 1,748 35 4.2 2.0 0.47
Prince Edward Island 110,205 3,485 105,530 3,370 4,640 120 3.2 2.6 0.81
Nova Scotia 756,595 27,375 726,445 26,300 29,300 1,055 3.6 3.6 0.99
New Brunswick 601,425 19,655 398,245 12,888 202,650 6,743 3.2 3.3 1.03
Quebec 6,184,490 148,870 835,070 25,948 5,304,940 121,393 3.1 2.3 1.36
Ontario 9,819,420 314,125 9,138,088 291,940 465,068 14,255 3.2 3.1 0.96
Manitoba 908,450 32,505 862,718 31,025 38,603 1,130 3.6 2.9 0.81
Saskatchewan 766,235 26,560 750,548 26,115 13,873 360 3.5 2.6 0.75
Alberta 2,625,140 74,475 2,537,678 71,870 57,598 1,425 2.8 2.5 0.87
British Columbia 3,394,910 111,270 3,235,045 105,653 56,480 1,413 3.3 2.5 0.77
Yukon 24,490 910 23,368 888 1,023 18 3.8 1.8 0.46
Northwest Territories 31,135 1,305 29,985 1,275 860 15 4.3 1.7 0.41
Nunavut 19,340 1,555 17,915 1,420 365 10 7.9 2.7 0.35
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population.

Notes

Introduction

Footnote 1

Fédération des aînées et des aînés francophones du Canada, Profil statistique 2006 des personnes âgées francophones au Canada [French only], February 2010. On-line version accessed March 14, 2013.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

Quebec Community Groups Network, Seniors: Key Priorities for English-Speaking Seniors, November 2012. On-line version accessed January 31, 2013.

Return to footnote 2 referrer

Footnote 3

The data was compiled and analyzed in winter 2012, before the publication of the 2011 Census data on language in fall 2012 and the release, from the spring of 2013, of National Household Survey data.

Return to footnote 3 referrer

Footnote 4

First official language spoken is derived from the three Census language questions in the following order: knowledge of the two official languages, mother tongue and home language. From Statistics Canada, “First official language spoken,” Census Dictionary, Catalogue no. 98-301-X2011001, 2011, p. 26. On-line version accessed July 16, 2013.

Return to footnote 4 referrer

Footnote 5

Statistics Canada, A Portrait of Seniors in Canada 2006, Catalogue no. 89-519-XIE, 2007. On-line version accessed January 10, 2013.

Return to footnote 5 referrer

International and national policy context

Footnote 6

The term “aging” is spelled as such throughout the report. However, it is spelled “ageing” when referring to documents that use that spelling.

Return to footnote 6 referrer

Footnote 7

United Nations, Political Declaration and Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing 2002. On-line version accessed January 10, 2013.

Return to footnote 7 referrer

Footnote 8

Health Canada, Principles of the National Framework on Aging: A Policy Guide, prepared for the federal/provincial/territorial ministers responsible for seniors, March 1998, pp. 4–6. On-line version accessed January 10, 2013.

Return to footnote 8 referrer

Footnote 9

Ibid., p. 10.

Return to footnote 9 referrer

Footnote 10

United Nations, Op. cit.

Return to footnote 10 referrer

Footnote 11

Government of Canada, Addressing the Challenges and Opportunities of Ageing in Canada, Prepared for the United Nations Commission for Social Development for the 5th Anniversary of the 2002 United Nations Second World Assembly on Ageing, 2007. On-line version accessed January 10, 2013.

Return to footnote 11 referrer

Footnote 12

Government of Canada, National Follow-up to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Regional Implementation Strategy for the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA), June 2012. On-line version accessed January 25, 2013.

Return to footnote 12 referrer

Footnote 13

Ibid., p. 8.

Return to footnote 13 referrer

Footnote 14

National Seniors Council, Publications and Reports. On-line version accessed January 10, 2013.

Return to footnote 14 referrer

Footnote 15

National Seniors Council, Report of the National Seniors Council on Volunteering Among Seniors and Positive and Active Aging, May 2010, p. 24.

Return to footnote 15 referrer

Footnote 16

Government of Canada, Governor in Council Appointments, “National Seniors Council.” On-line version accessed January 25, 2013.

Return to footnote 16 referrer

Footnote 17

Government of Canada, National Follow-up to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Regional Implementation Strategy for the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA), Op. cit. p. 8.

Return to footnote 17 referrer

Footnote 18

Special Senate Committee on Aging, First Interim Report: Embracing the Challenge of Aging, March 2007.

Return to footnote 18 referrer

Footnote 19

Special Senate Committee on Aging, Second Interim Report: Issues and Options for an Aging Population, March 2008.

Return to footnote 19 referrer

Footnote 20

Special Senate Committee on Aging, Final Report: Canada's Aging Population: Seizing the Opportunity, April 2009.

Return to footnote 20 referrer

Footnote 21

Ibid., pp. 185–186.

Return to footnote 21 referrer

Federal institutions and programs

Footnote 22

For further information on Part VII of the Act, see:

Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, Leadership, Action, Results: Annual Report 2010–2011.

Canadian Heritage, Guide for Federal Institutions: Official Languages Act, Part VII – Promotion of English and French.

Canadian Heritage, Good Practices: Implementation of Section 41 of the Official Languages Act, October 2011.

Return to footnote 22 referrer

Canadian Heritage

Footnote 23

Canadian Heritage, Mandate and Priorities. On-line version accessed September 4, 2012.

Return to footnote 23 referrer

Footnote 24

Canadian Heritage, Federal institutions having specific official languages responsibilities.

Return to footnote 24 referrer

Footnote 25

Key informant.

Return to footnote 25 referrer

Footnote 26

Quebec Community Groups Network, English-speaking Seniors Form Provincial Advocacy Group, March 29, 2012. On-line version () accessed March 15, 2013.

Return to footnote 26 referrer

Footnote 27

Key informant.

Return to footnote 27 referrer

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Footnote 28

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, 2013–2014 Report on Plans and Priorities. On-line version accessed April 22, 2013.

Return to footnote 28 referrer

Footnote 29

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Enabling Fund for Official Language Minority Communities.On-line version accessed January 31, 2013.

Return to footnote 29 referrer

Footnote 30

Because Quebec's English-speaking community is aging faster than the general population and because of the employment struggles that mature workers face, CEDEC initiated The Mature Workers Initiative in 2009. It has included studies conducted in the Quebec Chaudière-Appalaches region, in the Outaouais and in the Greater Montréal Area to identify specific employment needs and challenges for mature workers.

Return to footnote 30 referrer

Footnote 31

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, 2011–2012 Estimates: Departmental Performance Report, p. 55. On-line version accessed April 22, 2013. (http://www.publications.gc.ca/site/eng/431407/publication.html) accessed January 31, 2013.

Return to footnote 31 referrer

Footnote 32

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, New Horizons for Seniors Program, brochure. On-line version accessed January 31, 2013.

Return to footnote 32 referrer

Footnote 33

Special Senate Committee on Aging, Final Report: Canada's Aging Population: Seizing the Opportunity, Op. cit., pp. 136–138.

Return to footnote 33 referrer

Footnote 34

Key informant.

Return to footnote 34 referrer

Footnote 35

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, New Horizons for Seniors Program, “2011–2012 Approved Community-Based Projects”.

Return to footnote 35 referrer

Footnote 36

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Two Generations – One Culinary Culture. On-line version accessed January 31, 2013.

Return to footnote 36 referrer

Footnote 37

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Let's Talk About Abuse. On-line version accessed January 31, 2013.

Return to footnote 37 referrer

Health Canada

Footnote 38

Health Canada, About Health Canada, “Health Portfolio.” On-line version accessed January 31, 2013.

Return to footnote 38 referrer

Footnote 39

Health Canada, About Health Canada, “About Mission, Values, Activities.” On-line version consulted October 9, 2012.

Return to footnote 39 referrer

Footnote 40

Health Canada, Official Language Community Development Bureau. On-line version accessed January 31, 2013.

Return to footnote 40 referrer

Footnote 41

Key informant.

Return to footnote 41 referrer

Footnote 42

Quebec Community Groups Network, The Health and Social Service Priorities of Quebec's English-Speaking Population 2013–2018: A Document Based on the Consultation of Members of Quebec's English-Speaking Population, May 2012. On-line version accessed January 31, 2013.

Return to footnote 42 referrer

Footnote 43

Government of Canada, Education, Immigration, Communities: Roadmap for Canada's Official Languages 2013–2018, 2013. On-line version accessed March 28, 2013.

Return to footnote 43 referrer

Footnote 44

Community Health and Social Services Network, Community Health Promotion Projects. On-line version accessed April 15, 2013.

Return to footnote 44 referrer

Public Health Agency of Canada

Footnote 45

Canadian Heritage, Annual Report 2010–2011, Volume 2: Achievements of Designated Federal Institutions, Implementation of Section 41 of the Official Languages Act. On-line version accessed April 15, 2013.

Return to footnote 45 referrer

Footnote 46

Key informant.

Return to footnote 46 referrer

Footnote 47

Public Health Agency of Canada, Site Map, “Aging and Seniors – About the Division of Aging and Seniors”, (Archived and eliminated). Changes to the Division of Aging and Seniors and its activities have occurred since consultations were done for this study.

Return to footnote 47 referrer

Footnote 48

Public Health Agency of Canada, Aging and Seniors: Publications A-Z Index. On-line version accessed October 9, 2012.

Return to footnote 48 referrer

Footnote 49

Public Health Agency of Canada, Aging and Seniors, “Age-Friendly Communities.” On-line version accessed January 31, 2013.

Return to footnote 49 referrer

Footnote 50

The Fédération des aînés et des retraités francophones de l'Ontario initiated an Age-Friendly Communities project in 2010–2012. On-line version accessed January 31, 2013.

Return to footnote 50 referrer

Footnote 51

Key informant.

Return to footnote 51 referrer

Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Footnote 52

Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Our mandate. On-line version accessed October 9, 2012.

Return to footnote 52 referrer

Footnote 53

Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Funding Overview. On-line version accessed April 22, 2013.

Return to footnote 53 referrer

Footnote 54

Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Official Language Minority Communities. On-line version accessed April 22, 2013.

Return to footnote 54 referrer

Footnote 55

Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Institute of Aging. On-line version accessed October 9, 2012.

Return to footnote 55 referrer

Footnote 56

Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Institute of Aging, “Priority Research Themes.” On-line version accessed October 9, 2012.

Return to footnote 56 referrer

Status of Women Canada

Footnote 57

Status of Women Canada, Who We Are. On-line version accessed January 31, 2013.

Return to footnote 57 referrer

Footnote 58

Status of Women Canada, Women's Program. On-line version accessed January 31, 2013.

Return to footnote 58 referrer

Footnote 59

Status of Women Canada, Departmental Performance Report 2011–2012. On-line version accessed January 31, 2013.

Return to footnote 59 referrer

Footnote 60

Status of Women Canada, Results-based status Report on the Implementation of Section 41 of the Official Languages Act 2009-2010. On-line version accessed March 15, 2013.

Return to footnote 60 referrer

Footnote 61

Key informant.

Return to footnote 61 referrer

Footnote 62

National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly, Older Women and Financial Literacy Project. On-line version accessed January 31, 2013.

Return to footnote 62 referrer

Footnote 63

Status of Women Canada, Results-based status Report on the Implementation of Section 41 of the Official Languages Act 2009-2010, Op. cit.

Return to footnote 63 referrer

Footnote 64

Status of Women Canada, Results-based status Report on the Implementation of Section 41 of the Official Languages Act 2007-2008. On-line version accessed March 15, 2013.

Return to footnote 64 referrer

Official language minority communities, particularities, challenges and opportunities

Footnote 65

Statistics Canada, French and the Francophonie in Canada: Language, 2011 Census of Population, Catalogue no. 98-314-X2011003. On-line version accessed April 15, 2013.

Return to footnote 65 referrer

Footnote 66

Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, Vitality Indicators for Official Language Minority Communities 2: The English-Speaking Communities in Quebec, June 2008. On-line version accessed April 15, 2013.

Return to footnote 66 referrer

Footnote 67

Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages, The Vitality of Quebec's English-speaking Communities: From Myth to Reality, March 2011. On-line version accessed April 15, 2013.

Return to footnote 67 referrer

Portrait of Quebec's English-speaking seniors

Footnote 68

Institut national de santé publique du Québec, The Socioeconomic Status of Anglophones in Québec, May 2012. On-line version accessed May 15, 2013.

Return to footnote 68 referrer

Footnote 69

In 2011, the census methodology underwent major changes. Therefore, Statistics Canada recommended caution, including when interpreting changes in the linguistic situation between 2006 and 2011. Statistics Canada, Methodology Document on the 2011 Census Language Data, Catalogue no. 98-314-X2011051, May 2013. On-line version accessed May 15, 2013.

Return to footnote 69 referrer

Footnote 70

Canadian Institute for Health Information, Health Care in Canada, 2011: A Focus on Seniors and Aging, pp. 9–13. On-line version accessed January 31, 2013.

Return to footnote 70 referrer

Footnote 71

Special Senate Committee on Aging, Final Report: Canada's Aging Population: Seizing the Opportunity, Op. cit., p. 68.

Return to footnote 71 referrer

Footnote 72

Ibid., p. 67.

Return to footnote 72 referrer

Footnote 73

The discrepancy between counts of population in Table 1 and those in Table 3 is explained by the differing 2006 census questionnaire sources. That is, age and sex counts in Table 1 were obtained from the census short-form questionnaire distributed to 80% of households, whereas the FOLS counts in Table 3 were obtained from the census long-form questionnaire distributed to a 20% sample. The FOLS data is presented in this study after equal distribution of dual responses.

Return to footnote 73 referrer

Footnote 74

Community Health and Social Services Network, Baseline Data Report 2011–2012, Socio-Economic Profiles of the English-speaking Visible Minority Population by Quebec Health Region, Based on Data from the 2006 Census of Canada, prepared by Joanne Pocock, 2012. On-line version accessed January 31, 2013.

Return to footnote 74 referrer

Footnote 75

Quebec health regions are designated in this study in French following the practice used by Statistics Canada and the Community Health and Social Services Network.

Return to footnote 75 referrer

Footnote 76

In tables 5 and 6 there is a discrepancy between the total provincial count in these regional figures relative to preceding provincial counts because in the first case they are rounded.

Return to footnote 76 referrer

Footnote 77

However, the issue of personal and social isolation is a complex one with many potential factors (such as marital status, living arrangements, socioeconomic status, and urban-vs.-rural setting). Some research suggests that rural seniors may in fact be less likely to experience social isolation, possibly because they benefit from more neighbourly contacts and greater likelihood that people in their community know one another. Special Senate Committee on Aging, Final Report: Canada's Aging Population: Seizing the Opportunity, Op. cit.

Return to footnote 77 referrer

Footnote 78

Nathalie Auger, Sam Harper, Amadou D. Barry, Normand Trempe, and Mark Daniel, “The Life Expectancy Gap Between the Francophone Majority and Anglophone Minority of a Canadian Population,” European Journal of Epidemiology, (2012) 27, pp. 27–38.

Return to footnote 78 referrer

Footnote 79

Statistics Canada, Census in Brief – Living Arrangements of Seniors: Families, Households and Marital Status, Structural Type of Dwelling and Collectives, 2011 Census of Population, September 2012. On-line version accessed May 15, 2013.

Return to footnote 79 referrer

Footnote 80

Ipsos-Reid, Only One Quarter (27%) of Working Canadians Expect to Be Fully Retired by Age 66, February 20, 2013. On-line version accessed March 15, 2013.

Return to footnote 80 referrer

Footnote 81

However, only 1% of them are recent immigrants, according to other 2006 Census data examined.

Return to footnote 81 referrer

Footnote 82

Community Health and Social Services Network, Socio-Economic Profiles of the English-speaking Visible Minority Population by CSSS Territory in the Greater Montreal Are, 2006, prepared by Joanne Pocock. On-line version accessed May 15, 2013.

Return to footnote 82 referrer

Footnote 83

Low-income cut-off defines the income level where a household will need to spend 20% more of its income on basic necessities (such as housing, food and clothing) than the average household would spend.

Return to footnote 83 referrer

Footnote 84

Statistics Canada, Portrait of Official-Language Minorities in Canada - Anglophones in Quebec, “Age Structure,” Catalogue no. 89-642-X — No. 002, September 2010. On-line version accessed May 15, 2013.

Return to footnote 84 referrer

Footnote 85

It may be noted that the age structure of the English-speaking population in itself varies according to whether the first official language spoken or the mother tongue is examined. From Statistics Canada, Portrait of Minority Communities: Anglophones in Quebec, Catalogue no. 89-642-X — No. 002, September 2010, p. 29.

Return to footnote 85 referrer

Footnote 86

This ratio is based on the assumption that every middle-aged adult between the ages of 35 and 54 is a potential caregiver. However, a percentage of that age group may itself be in need of care or unable to help. It should also be noted that the 55-to-64 age group is not included here as part of the caregiving generation although, at that age, they are more likely to be caring for seniors than to be cared for themselves.

Return to footnote 86 referrer

Footnote 87

This very high ratio of caregivers to seniors in the Nord-du-Québec region stands out from the rest. One explanation may be the demographic composition of that region: northern Native communities have higher fertility rates and lower life expectancy, which would affect their age structure.

Return to footnote 87 referrer

Footnote 88

Statistics Canada, Portrait of Official-Language Minorities in Canada – Anglophones in Quebec, Catalogue no. 89-642-X, September 2010. On-line version accessed July 12, 2013.

Return to footnote 88 referrer

Footnote 89

Statistics Canada, Health Care Professionals and Official-Language Minorities in Canada 2001 and 2006, Catalogue no. 91-550-X, April 2008.

Return to footnote 89 referrer

Footnote 90

This is not to say that needs for health services are entirely met. This merely indicates the number, per 100,000 habitants, of professionals in Quebec compared with the rest of Canada.

Return to footnote 90 referrer

Footnote 91

Community Health and Social Services Network, Access to Health and Social Services: A Comparison of French & English-language CROP-CHSSN Survey Samples, prepared by Joanne Pocock, July 31, 2011.On-line version accessed March 15, 2013.

Return to footnote 91 referrer

Footnote 92

Special Senate Committee on Aging, Final Report: Canada's Aging Population: Seizing the Opportunity, Op. cit., p. 186.

Return to footnote 92 referrer