Liberal candidate explains the change her party wants to make in pensions - doesn't say how it will be paid for.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

September 15, 2015


The phony election phase is now behind us. The past few days there have been more promises from the four parties wanting to either ensure they stay in power or want to form the next government and exert the power the public gives them. And remember – the power a government has is power you gave them when you voted.

Burlington has a large seniors’ population; current MP Mile Wallace has courted that cohort very successfully and they have been loyal to him. Say seniors and you have also said pensions, and that has brought out a statement from Liberal candidate Karina Gould who today said: A Trudeau-led Liberal government will make sure that Canadian seniors get the secure and dignified retirement they deserve.

It hasn't reached a fever pitch yet - it might not but he does know how to pull all the heart strings and both his hair and his children get many mentions.  The bold new ideas? - haven't heard those yet.  what he did assure his audience was that he had very solid values - but didn't make much mention of what they were.

These seniors are certainly fans of Justin Trudeau – he draws well when he is on public tour. Many of his policy statements have been strong – knowing how it is all going to be aid for is a concern. It isn’t just the Liberals who aren’t being candid about the costs.

“With record levels of household debt and an economy in recession, it is no wonder why Canadians in Burlington – and across the country – are worried about their retirement,” said Gould. “Right now, on average, a retired person receives just $618 per month from the Canada Pension Plan – hardly enough to live on. Our seniors have worked their entire lives, and should not have to struggle to make ends meet. Justin Trudeau has a plan to ensure that all Canadians get the dignified retirement they have earned.”

“As part of our three-point plan to create jobs, grow the middle class, and help those working hard to join the middle class, a Liberal government will work with the provinces and territories to significantly reform our retirement security system by:

• Restoring the eligibility age for Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement to 65;
• Lifting hundreds of thousands of seniors out of poverty by immediately boosting the Guaranteed Income Supplement for single low-income seniors by ten percent;
• Introducing a new Seniors Price Index – in recognition of the fact that many seniors live on fixed incomes – to make sure that Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement keep up with rising costs;
• Beginning discussions with the provinces and territories, workers, employers and others on how to enhance the Canada Pension Plan within our first three months in government;
• Not cutting pension income splitting for seniors;
• Introducing a more flexible and accessible Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefit; and
• Prioritizing significant new investment in affordable housing and seniors’ facilities as part of a Liberal government’s commitment to a new, ten-year investment of nearly $20 billion in social infrastructure.

This is good stuff – and as a senior who looks for that pension cheque going into the bank at the end of every month I certainly understand who Gould is talking to – me.

How is my government going to pay for this improvement in my pension? Are they going to have to take money away from something else? Will the much touted federal day care program be lost for another decade? Will the aboriginal communities not get the schools they desperately need so I can get a bigger pension?

Governing is a balancing act – how do you keep everyone happy?

Transit - seniors with Gould

Liberal candidate Karina Gould watches a group of seniors discuss transit policy – getting around the city is critical for these people – just as critical as their pensions.

“I’m proud of the policy my Party announced today for seniors,” added Gould. “It is a product of grassroots discussions, like the town hall I held in January with the Hon. John McCallum, Liberal Critic for Citizenship and Immigration, Multiculturalism, and Seniors. The measures we’re putting forward are born directly out of these conversations. I have been listening to the serious issues that face seniors in our community. ‎I’m proud to stand for a party that will act for all of our seniors and ensure a dignified retirement for everyone in our community.”

I too am proud of the policy – I’d just like to know how it is going to be paid for.

The Liberal candidates are not the only ones a little shy on the details side of the election promises – a voters question should be ; how much?

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5 comments to Liberal candidate explains the change her party wants to make in pensions – doesn’t say how it will be paid for.

  • John

    What is so disingenous about this senior pension debate is the implied suggestion that the average senior is only getting $618 per month. There is no such thing as a senior living on only $618 per month. OAS and the GIS ensure that seniors get far more than this, and that is for those who don’t even receive the CPP. Of course $618 is not enough for a senior to live on. That is why in Canada we already have existing programs which ensure this doesn’t happen. If Trudeau and Wynne ever get their pension changes, will this not just reduce the amount of GIS we pay to the poorest seniors? These changes they are hoping for are unlikely to help the poor seniors. As for the middle class and well off seniors, they already have private sector options they can use if they choose to.

  • Shannon Gillies

    Oh but the Liberals HAVE in fact told us exactly how they plan to pay for this. Charge it, baby! Young Mr. Trudeau has almost been proud to announce to anyone who will listen that he will run deficits for the next three years. I guess he figures we can just sell off some public assets when the books aren’t balanced by 2019, right? The federal Liberals are counting on enough Canadians not caring one bit how all these promises will be paid for and sadly, it’s a strategy that could work. Hey, it worked in Ontario. Wynne promised she’d have that budget balanced by 2017/18. How’s THAT going?

  • C Jester

    I don’t mind parties putting out their election platforms. I don’t approve though of anyone hinting that pension income splitting has ever been on the table for elimination. But hinting that some party just might eliminate it when no one has threatened to do so seems opportunistic at best and downright deplorable at worst.

  • BCarlton

    Man he has got nice hair. Spend and tax, spend and tax same old, same old

  • Sandy

    Your story and the Liberal story is incomplete.

    Can Gould tell us what the average senior pension of $618 per month will increase to under the Liberal plan?

    All seniors should be asking before casting a vote is how much per month will I get under the Liberal plan versus the other parties. Gould should be providing this answer.

    The other simple answer the Liberals should be providing is what exactly is the middle class?