Ottawa - Jul. 13, 2011 - Our great country is what it is today because of the huge contributions made by Canada`s seniors. These men and women worked hard and made huge sacrifices so that we could enjoy democracy and a quality of life Canadians enjoy today. They suffered through depressions, recessions, wars, droughts, and unemployment with little or no social safety nets. Canada`s seniors have survived through all of this by working hard, paying their taxes and sticking to the law. We as a society today are reaping the rewards of their efforts.
Throughout the recent election campaign, I had the pleasure of meeting many seniors, including seniors who are struggling economically due to the increased costs of living and low incomes. These are the seniors I am concerned about, and that is why I was extremely pleased when Finance Minister Flaherty addressed some of their most pressing needs in our June budget.
Beginning July 1, Canada's lowest income seniors will receive additional benefits of $600 per year if they are single and $840 as a couple. This is the most significant increase in benefits to seniors in over 25 years. This will improve the financial security of 680,000 of Canada`s most vulnerable seniors, many of whom are women.
Since elected, our Government has taken action on many issues important to seniors. We currently provide $72 billion in pension benefits to seniors. Our Government is also encouraging seniors to stay active and involved in their communities by providing $10 million in additional funding for the popular New Horizons Program. Further, we have provided $2.3 billion for pension income splitting, $400 million for affordable senior's housing, appointed a Minister of State responsible for addressing senior's issues, declared October 1 National Senior's Day, and we have invested $13 million in the Federal Elder Abuse initiative.
Our Government values what seniors have done for this country and is helping them meet their needs.
Member of Parliament