Bill 31: nothing to solve the problems of senior tenants
Bill 31, which was passed today, amending various provisions of Québec’s housing l...
The federal government’s economic update includes no measures to support seniors, even though the needs are great in a difficult economic context.
While the government has been repeating since its last budget that it will cover dental care for people aged 65 and over, there was no mention of this in the November 21 economic update. The Trudeau government simply states that it is continuing to prepare for the launch of the Canadian Dental Care Plan.
“The least they could have done would have been to extend access to the Interim Canadian Dental Benefit to people aged 65 and over until the plan is in place. It was already difficult for seniors to afford dental care. The rising cost of living just makes thing worse,” says Réseau FADOQ president Gisèle Tassé-Goodman.
The increase in the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), promised during the 2021 election campaign, has not materialized.
“This is yet another disappointment for people aged 65 and over who receive the benefit and who have been waiting more than two years for this bonus. GIS recipients live on incomes below the poverty line, and this increase would give them a helping hand to cope with inflation,” states Ms. Tassé-Goodman.
In 2021, the Liberal Party of Canada pledged to increase the Guaranteed Income Supplement by $500 a year for people aged 65 and over who live alone, and by $750 for those living as a couple.
Another long-awaited promise is the creation of a career extension tax credit. Although all the political parties support this measure, the proposal is not reflected in the economic update.
Finally, Réseau FADOQ notes that the federal government continues its intractable refusal to extend the 10% increase in Old Age Security benefits now benefiting only those aged 75 and up to people aged 65 to 74.
Measures with long-term impacts
The government has announced further measures in its economic update to stimulate the construction of affordable housing, which is a desirable move in the midst of the housing crisis.
It also proposed several measures to deal with the widespread price hikes. It modernized the framework governing competition, notably by strengthening the tools and powers of Canada’s Competition Bureau and has also introduced measures to stimulate competition, particularly for essential goods.
Réseau FADOQ is giving the government the benefit of the doubt for now, but the effect of these measures will likely only be measurable over the longer term.