National seniors strategy needed: MP Blaney
North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney says the recent increase in OAS and GIS payments won't help seniors get out of poverty. (supplied by Rachel Blaney's office)
CAMPBELL RIVER, BC – The country needs a holistic plan to help seniors.
North Island-Powell River MP and Seniors Affairs Critic Rachel Blaney says the Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement payments increased, but the combined increases only come up to an extra $12-$16 a month.
She says seniors aren’t impressed.
“Does this government really think that $12-$16 a month is going to make a significant difference in the lives of seniors? That doesn’t even cover a typical annual rent or property tax increase in Canada, which means that most seniors will have a harder time making ends meet than before. We know that poverty amongst seniors in Canada is on the rise, and $16 won’t fix that,” Blaney said.
She adds the housing crisis is impacting seniors across the country, and the lack of accessible housing is a challenge to many of them. Wait times for long-term care facilities are also being affected, stretching into years.
Lack of housing is pushing prices up, and she says seniors’ incomes aren’t keeping pace.
She says the government should be prepared to deal with Canada’s changing demographics and the higher number of seniors.
“We need a holistic plan for the present and future. A National Seniors Strategy will ensure that we are taking proper care of those who made this beautiful country what it is today.”