How will your platform affect the lives of our Seniors in Chatham-Kent?
The Green Party believes that the best option for senior care is to allow them to remain in their homes for as long as possible. We would like to promote intergenerational housing opportunities as a cost effective measure for assistance. In collaboration with provincial and territorial governments, Greens want to develop a set of national home care objectives with a National Home Care Policy. This will incorporate and improve upon existing policies affecting eldercare, including, but not restricted to, ensuring couples needing support and care can continue to live together, economic allowances (such as tax rebates), living choices, transportation, and respite care. We believe that long-term care should not be the only housing and care choice. In a Balance of Care model, more care can be provided for seniors in a cost-effective manner by home and community support services.
It is also important to increase the availability of public transportation which will be necessary as people find it more difficult to own a vehicle. We will also develop a National Seniors’ Strategy that includes healthcare, pensions, housing, and a check-in service across Canada that ensures those living alone are well. This includes recognizing the need for improved support for mental health, and palliative care. There is a need to combat ageism, abuse, and neglect.
Along with that, the Green Party will ensure all seniors who qualify are made aware of available federal income supplements and instructed on how to apply for them. We will ensure Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will innovate in supporting co-op and shared housing. Pharmacare is also an important part of our platform. With our aging population we must provide flexible programs to accommodate their needs.
I have been touched by what happens when family members fall through the cracks in our system, and I will work tirelessly as your MP to make sure that all of our loved ones receive the care they deserve, and have the opportunity to retire with dignity. There is no greater asset to our society than the wisdom and hard work that we have been gifted by generations before us, so my promise to this community is that I will work as hard for you as you have for all of us. I am committed to building upon the accomplishments of the Liberal government, which has taken important steps to improve the lives of seniors across Canada. Through restoring the eligibility for Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement back to 65, this government has made sure retirees have received the benefits they worked hard for in a fair and timely fashion. By increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement by up to $947, 900,000 vulnerable seniors have gained greater financial stability. That last act alone has lifted nearly 57,000 seniors out of poverty. The Liberal government has also supported community-based projects that support Canadians living with dementia and their families with a $20 million investment. In addition to this, Canada’s first ever dementia strategy has been implemented. The Liberal government has supported better home care and mental health care with $11 billion in new, targeted investments. These are all great steps, but I know more still needs to be done. I am committed to listening to seniors, at home, in care, and in our community to ensure that I fully understand and can fight for their needs, so that they receive the care, dignity, and support they deserve.
As more Canadians enter their senior years, we need to make better choices to be ready to meet their needs and ensure everyone can age with dignity. With the right leadership, we can make sure that our institutions and public services are strong and prepared – and that every senior has access to the health care and social supports they need to make life a little easier.
To deliver these results all across the country, we will lead a National Seniors Strategy that will work with the provinces, territories, and Indigenous governments to make seniors’ health care a priority, reduce isolation, and tackle seniors’ poverty. This will include a funded national dementia strategy and an elder abuse prevention plan developed with seniors to put an end to abuse and neglect in our communities.
Our national pharmacare for all plan will provide prescription medicine to all seniors, saving seniors hundreds of dollars every year and ensuring that no one needs to choose between medicine and other essentials.
Seniors deserve a retirement that’s financially secure and dignified. And no senior should miss out on benefits they qualify for because of a paperwork oversight – but that’s exactly what’s happening to tens of thousands of seniors today. We’ll put in place a one-year delay to help seniors at risk of having their GIS benefits suspended for being unable to make the required income statement.
Many seniors are themselves caregivers to a loved one, or rely on the caregiving of family members. We’ll make the Canada Caregiver Tax Credit refundable. This will provide thousands of dollars to caregivers with low income from having given up work to care for a loved one.
For too long, our veterans have had to fight for the benefits they’ve earned. We’ll deliver services veterans deserve and improve access.
I understand that one of the main focuses of many seniors is being able to afford to stay in their own home as long as possible. The best way for government to enable seniors to do this is to simply leave more money in their pockets.
Many seniors live on a fixed income and, as such, their situation is even more precarious when exposed to reckless spikes in cost of living. The Conservative leader, Andrew Scheer, recently announced a new plan to improve the day-to-day lives of seniors and contribute to their happiness and dignity.
Conservatives will do this by increasing the Age Credit by $1,000. In addition, the recently introduced Universal Tax Cut, which will lower the income tax rate, also applies to pension earnings and could mean up to $440 in annual income tax savings per person.
Between these two measures alone, an average-salary senior couple could save almost $1,200 each year. That money could be the difference that allows seniors who have contributed to our country their whole lives to stay in the comfort of their own homes and enjoy the retirement they have earned.
Other Conservative platform announcements that will be of benefit to our seniors include the removal of GST from home heating costs as well as the repeal of the Carbon Tax. These will help reverse the increased cost of living that seniors are facing today and put them back in a position where they are able to get ahead.
Through talking with seniors around the riding I have found that their concerns are the same as the concerns other People’s Party candidates around Canada have heard. They would like to know about improving senior’s lifestyle, healthcare, and our retired veterans. Our platform in these areas will benefit our seniors greatly. For example we want to make every Canadian richer by ending supply management which currently forces us to pay twice the price for milk, cheese, eggs, chicken, and turkey. We will scrap the federal carbon tax. Cut federal tax to 15% on income between $15,001 and $100,000, and 25% tax rate on income above $100,000.
As healthcare is a provincial and territorial jurisdiction, we will create conditions for innovation. Throwing federal money at the health care issue is not the right approach; it is part of the problem. Our party will replace the Canada Health Transfer cash payments with a permanent transfer of tax points of equivalent value to the provinces and territories, to give them a stable source of revenue. In practice, Ottawa will give up its Goods and Services Tax (GST), and let provincial and territorial governments occupy this fiscal room. In 2019-20, the GST is expected to bring in $40 billion in revenues, the same amount currently transferred by Ottawa. We will establish a temporary program to compensate poorer provinces whose revenues from the tax will be lower than the transfer payments they used to receive.
The provinces and territories will be fully responsible for health care funding and management, and fully accountable to their citizens for the results, while Ottawa will respect the Constitution and stop meddling.
Though we have a full policy on Veterans, the Pension Act will be of importance to our senior veterans. The People’s Party will reinstate the fair disability pension as previously provided for by the Pension Act. The pension will apply retroactively to 2006 and lump sum payments received since then will be treated as advance payments.
Seniors comprise a growing proportion of Canada’s total population, a majority of whom are women. They built the society we now enjoy, have a wealth of experience, and continue to contribute to the economic and social life of our communities and country.
An essential duty of the social contract between government and citizens is to make sure people can live fulfilling and dignified lives in their senior years. Green Party pledges such as the Guaranteed Livable Income, Pharmacare, public transportation, home retrofits, and affordable housing all contribute to seniors’ quality of life.
A Green government will also develop a National Seniors Strategy with the following priorities:
• Ensure the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) remains robust and adaptive to changing needs and circumstances by increasing over time the target income replacement rate from 25 per cent to 50 per cent of income received during working years.
• Regulate the CPP Investment Board to require divestment of coal, oil, and gas shares and ensure that all investments are ethical and promote environmental sustainability.
• Support innovative home-sharing plans and other measures to allow people to stay in their own homes as long as possible. Create more long-term care beds in neighbourhood facilities.
• Protect private pensions by amending the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to establish the pre-eminence of pensioners and the pension plan in the creditor hierarchy during company insolvency proceedings.
• In collaboration with health professionals and provincial/territorial governments, develop and fund a national dementia strategy. Within 25 years, the number of Canadians living with a form of dementia could reach 1.3 million, imposing the highest economic, social, and health costs of all diseases. The strategy would support research, improve quality of life for patients and caregivers, and educate the public to increase awareness and reduce stigma.
• Amend the Medical Assistance in Dying legislation to ensure that everyone has the choice of dying with dignity. This includes allowing advance directives and guaranteeing the right to draw up a “living will” that gives individuals the power to limit or refuse medical intervention and treatment.
Canadians are living longer than ever before, and as we age, costs go up. Liberals believe that, after a lifetime of hard work, seniors shouldn’t have to worry about their savings running out. That’s why we restored the age of eligibility for Old Age Security from 67 back to 65. We increased the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) by $1000 a year, and increased the income exemption for the GIS, so that more seniors who work, but earn a small income, will qualify. And we started an outreach program to make sure that seniors receive the benefits they’re entitled to. That has helped thousands, but there’s more to be done.
A re-elected Liberal government will increase Old Age Security for those over age 75 by 10 percent. That’s an extra $729 a year, on average to support seniors in our community. The Canada Pension Plan Survivor’s Benefit will also go up by 25%.
Seniors want to remain engaged in their communities. Liberals have invested in the New Horizons for Seniors Program, which gives grants of up to $25,000 for community-based projects. Over the past 2 years, organizations like the Active Lifestyle Centre, Chez Nous Retirement Residence and NeighbourLink have received funding for innovative programs they designed to meet the needs of seniors in Chatham-Kent.
We are also committed to taking important steps to improve health care for Seniors in Chatham-Kent. Access to home care, palliative care and long-term care is a concern we hear at the doorstep over and over again. During the last mandate, our government invested $20 million in community-based programs that support Canadians living with dementia, and their families. We’ve committed to $11 billion in new spending over the next 10 years, targeting home care and mental health.
Liberals recognize that seniors have made and continue to make huge contributions to Canadian society. They deserve to enjoy their golden years. A re-elected Liberal government will help to ensure seniors have the support they need.
My aim is to give Lambton Kent Middlesex a strong voice in Ottawa. For years our riding has been left out of the picture because of our lack of strong voice. I will be a voice for everyone in Lambton Kent Middlesex. It’s time for a change and it’s important as we move forward with issues like trade agreements, supply management, protecting the small business owners, and farmers. However, we must not forget about our senior population and the issues that concern them such as changes to pensions and transit in our rural areas. Supporting me will be supporting what is best for Lambton Kent Middlesex.
As a life-time resident of Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, I am proud to represent the People’s Party of Canada as the only party willing to do politics differently. We are proposing bold new reforms to address the many the issues that Canadians are concerned about.
Our four founding principles are Freedom, Fairness, Responsibility, and Respect. Essentially, we believe in smaller and more effective government in order to promote freedom and prosperity for all Canadians. We recognize that the increasing tax burden created from big government and its policies places a burden on Canadians from all walks of life. Our goal is to lower taxes and abolish capital gains so Canadians can retain more of their hard-earned money. We believe that Canadians should have the freedom to chose how to use their own resources.
Another reform proposed by the People’s Party of Canada is to significantly improve our health care system by decreasing federal interference and introducing reforms that look to better functioning mixed-universal systems. Canada’s public health care system has the unfortunate distinction of having the worst wait times of any developed country. The PPC reforms aim to raise our standard of care while increasing the access and speed of delivery of health services to all Canadians.
The PPC also supports a renewed effort to restore pensions and assistance for our veterans, which have been reduced in recent years. We also seek to enshrine in legislation a covenant that requires the government of Canada to maintain its obligations to veterans who have made great sacrifices for our nation.
Overall, the People’s Party of Canada is committed to helping our country prosper and flourish, now and for future generations. I am proud to represent a party that seeks to uphold integrity and freedom in this country.