By: Kathleen O’Neil

Ageism- the stereotyping and discrimination against individuals or groups based on their stage in the process of aging – is the most prevalent, normalized and tolerated form of discrimination in the world today.


PRESS recognizes the inherent dignity and worth of every human being and is committed to creating a climate of understanding and mutual respect across all its operations and initiatives. The analysis and examples used in this policy are based on PRESS research on ageism and discrimination, and the principles and recommendations developed by the United Nations to guide action in the promotion of the rights of older persons.

The purpose of this policy is to ensure everyone associated with PRESS understands:

  • All human beings are equal in rights and dignity and worthy of respect and care
  • Everyone is legally protected against discrimination as they age
  • Ageism and age discrimination are unacceptable human rights violations
  • That ageism and age discrimination harm individuals in society and in the workplace
  • That multi-generational teams and age diversity contribute to the strength of an organization
Valuing Elders

Across Canada, the resurgence of a vibrant, reawakened culture and the move to First Nation self-governance has been skillfully guided by elders who are raising their voices and sharing their wisdom.

As an Indigenous-led organization, PRESS recognizes that the holistic and inclusive values of Indigenous cultures carry meaning and hope for all of us. The social engagement of elders is highly valued in First Nation cultures, where they are revered and play crucial roles as the carriers and emblems of collectively generated and mediated knowledge.

Elders also contribute to the well-being of children, youth, families, and the community through their participation in cultural, social, economic, and civic life. They promote intercultural respect and intergenerational solidarity by strengthening social cohesion and promoting positive individual and collective attitudes and behaviours such as respect, reciprocity, resilience, perseverance, and dignity.

Ageism in Canada
  • 89% of Canadians associate aging with something negative like not being able to get around easily, losing independence or being alone
  • 50% of Canadians say ageism is the most tolerated and acceptable social prejudice
  • 33% of Canadians admit they have treated someone differently due to their age

Among Canadians over 65:

  • 71% say that Canadian society values younger generations more than older ones
  • 63% say they have been treated unfairly or differently because of their age
  • 41% say they have been ignored or treated as though invisible
  • 38% say people have assumed they have nothing to contribute
  • 27% say people have assumed that they’re incompetent

To learn more, check out ageism on Statistics Canada: