I appeal to the Government of Canada.
The largest seniors’ organization in the country, the Réseau FADOQ, believes that our policy makers in Ottawa are failing to provide adequate financial support to seniors.
Consider this message as the Réseau FADOQ’s cry from the heart. And a cry of anger and exasperation to try to ensure the inclusion of substantial and recurrent financial assistance for seniors in the Trudeau government’s next budget.
This would help ease the frustration of seniors, whose confidence has been eroded by our Prime Minister’s repeated failures over the past year.
The FADOQ prepared a series of proposals aimed at improving seniors’ financial situation in advance of discussions with the federal Minister of Seniors, Deb Schulte, the President of the Treasury Board, Jean-Yves Duclos, and the Quebec Lieutenant, Pablo Rodriguez. Our organization also presented a brief on the subject to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance. Needless to say, we are anxiously awaiting Chrystia Freeland’s first budget.
Increase Old Age Security
The Réseau FADOQ is calling on the federal government to rapidly increase the amounts paid through Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). These are two of our demands.
During the 2019 election campaign, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau publicly committed to increase OAS benefits for seniors aged 75 and over by 10% starting in July 2020. A promise that is not only long overdue, but that should extend to all seniors receiving this benefit. A petition is circulating in the House of Commons on this subject. Please make your voice heard and go sign it!
Réseau FADOQ is also urging the federal government to increase the GIS by $50 per month per senior. Recipients of this benefit are among the less fortunate in our society. With an annual income of barely $18,000, these people are not living a full life, they are just surviving.
In this context, FADOQ is concerned about the cruel choices a disadvantaged senior has to make when faced with an unexpected expense. Having to choose between getting medication or eating—in 2021, it’s UNACCEPTABLE!
From one missed opportunity to another
Why aren’t our policy makers reacting when they are told that seniors face an additional financial burden during this health crisis? Why must we constantly repeat ourselves? Why do they turn a deaf ear?
It is undeniable. Seniors’ expenses have increased since the beginning of the pandemic, due partly to the rising cost of groceries, the need for delivery services and a lost support network.
What did the Trudeau government do to relieve this pressure? A one-time payment of $300 for people eligible for OAS announced in May 2020, to which they added a $200 payment for seniors collecting the GIS.
In addition, a ridiculous 1% indexation of Old Age Security and the GIS was announced on the very day of International Day of Older Persons. An increase that won’t even cover a miserable cup of coffee once a month!
And no changes were proposed in November’s economic update.
That’s a lot of missed opportunities, isn’t it?
Seniors deserve to be treated with dignity and fairness. Now, what is Ottawa waiting for?