Archive for September, 2010

New Democrat calls for increased support for seniors

September 29, 2010
A growing number of Canada’s elderly are finding it harder to make ends meet. Daily costs are increasing and government income support programs are falling short. To make sure that Canada’s seniors are receiving the support they need, New Democrat Seniors and Pensions Critic Wayne Marston (Hamilton East-Stoney Creek) introduced Bill C-564 The Seniors CPI Act. 

“I know from my travels throughout the country, listening to seniors, that there is a need for an immediate and consistent increase to programs like the GIS and the elimination of benefit clawbacks,” said Marston. “After facing a two year freeze of Old Age Security, seniors are telling me that the extra buck fifty this government is giving just isn’t enough.” 

Marston’s bill would mandate that programs such at the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) are indexed to the cost of living. It would bring seniors’ support programs in line with most government support programs, which are already linked to the Consumer Price Index. The Seniors CPI Act would also create a new measure that would take into account purchases that are specific to seniors. 

“From increasing monthly supports to making medications more affordable, New Democrats will continue to push for solutions,” said Marston. “There are many ways the federal government can help and it’s time the Conservatives stopped pretending otherwise.”

Recession not over until the middle class is back to work

September 15, 2010
New Democrat Leader Jack Layton yesterday blasted Stephen Harper for ignoring middle class economic struggles, and vowed to make a true middle class recovery his top priority when Parliament resumes next week. 

“Stephen Harper points to soaring bank profits and declares the recession over,” Layton said. “He thinks that when the banks are out of recession, everyone is out of recession. New Democrats know that there is no economic recovery without the middle class.”  

Speaking in Regina at the New Democrat caucus strategy session, Layton’s comments come less than a week after Canada’s jobless rate grew to 8.1%. They also come a day after the Canadian Payroll Association found that 6 out of every 10 Canadians are living paycheque to paycheque. 

“Across the country, people have told us they are still worried—worried because they can’t find a job or get EI; worried because they are going into debt; worried because they’ve lost their pensions and have no savings for retirement,” he said. 

Layton outlined the New Democrat plan for an economic recovery that he says would leave no one behind. The plan includes: 

  • maintaining Canada’s stimulus commitments;
  • protecting well-paying Canadian jobs;
  • making life more affordable for families;
  • bringing retirement security to all Canadians.

Layton also promised to bring accountability and trust back to government, which he said Mr. Harper has failed to do.  

“For four years, Mr. Harper has divided Canadians and abandoned Canadians,” Layton said. “New Democrats think it’s time for a different kind of leadership, one that actually puts Canadians first.”