Aging Canadians get no relief or recognition in the Federal BudgetThursday, February 13, 2014 by: Kate Adams
National Pensioners Federation
The Federal Budget recently released by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty leaves out many crucial areas, including those pertaining to retirees and pensioners.
The budget put forth by Harper's Conservative government highlights cuts to military funding and funding for rural internet connection but includes no mention of the aging population.
"Canada does not prioritize or protect the income of aging Canadians," said Herb John, President of the National Pensioners Federation.
"Canada is the only G7 country without a national housing policy," he said as evidence to the current government's lack of commitment to older Canadians.
Bill C-400, "An act to ensure secure, adequate, accessible and affordable housing for Canadians" was presented for a vote on Feb. 27, 2013.
The vote turned out 129 for and 153 against with all votes against coming from the Conservative party.
Further evidence, John said, includes Bill C-501; “An Act to amend the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act”.
The bill which would entitle employees to termination, severance and pension moneys ahead of other creditors did not become law.
He also outlined how a proposed increase to the Canada Pension Plan which has garnered broad support, has not been implemented.
In the last budget the eligibility for Old Age Security was delayed from age 65 to age 67 without any financial justification.
"This budget showed that Canada does not act upon the requested advice of experts," John said.
In November 2006, the Special Senate Committee on Aging was created with a broad mandate to review a wide range of complex issues to determine if Canada is providing the right programs and services at the right time to the individuals who need them.
One of the recommendations suggested the government “provide leadership and coordination through initiatives such as a National Integrated Care Initiative, a National Caregiver Strategy, a National Pharmacare Program and a federal transfer to address the needs of provinces with the highest proportion of the aging population.”
"Addressing issues in these categories would resonate with Canadians number one concern, which is Health Care," said John.
“One positive move was to provide $305 million over five years to enhance Broadband in rural areas." John said.
"This is at least recognition of the issue but the announcement is not big on details. 5mb per second would not be welcome news to anyone living in an urban centre."
"We will see if this is enough to enable aging Canadians in rural areas to have the access to information at a reasonable cost that residents of large municipalities have," he said.
"This federal government has again chosen to deny aging Canadians the care and respect they deserve today. We will see this government play Santa Claus before next year’s federal election."
The election results will tell them clearly that they were “a day late and a dollar short," John said.
Further information relating to the National Pensioners Federation will be posted on the website, nationalpensionersfederation.ca, following the official launch this Friday.
We are happy to announce this launch as the site will allow for a more simplistic and user friendly experience.
We encourage all members and the public to regularly visit the site for events relating to the National Pensioners Federation and newsworthy updates when available.