Vulnerable seniors have been abandoned by the government: NDP « Canada’s NDP

January 21, 2022 at 10:15 am  Federal, Politics

As the cost of living rises, the Liberal government continues to deny some of the country’s poorest seniors the financial help they need

OTTAWA – Today, the NDP critic for finance, Daniel Blaikie, and the NDP critic for seniors, Rachel Blaney, spoke to media about the low-income seniors who have been struggling to pay their bills or afford groceries after the federal government cut their Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) months ago. Yesterday, the NDP MPs wrote to Ministers Freeland and Khera imploring them to provide a one-time emergency payment to seniors facing dire financial circumstances.

“Canadian seniors shouldn’t have to die in the cold while the Liberals fix their mistakes, ” said Blaikie. “After months of raising the issue, the government finally acknowledged their mistake and committed to fixing it, but the money won’t arrive for months. That will be too late for many seniors going hungry, struggling to pay for medication and experiencing homelessness. It’s absolutely unacceptable for the government to make them wait until May for help. That’s why we’re asking the minister to get money out the door and into seniors’ pockets now.”

For months, New Democrats have received calls and emails from seniors who are desperate for help and the situation is only getting worse. Earlier this week, Statistics Canada reported that the country’s inflation rate rose to a new 30-year high. The price of groceries increased by six per cent—the biggest gain in ten years.

“I have heard heartbreaking stories from seniors across the country. They’re living through an unprecedented global health crisis; they’re already stressed and frustrated, and then the government cut the GIS support they rely on to survive. If that wasn’t bad enough, the cost of necessities like food is getting higher and higher. Seniors need help now more than ever,” said Blaney. “Instead of having people’s backs like Justin Trudeau said they would during the election, this government has cut their financial support and refuses to act quickly to fix it. Canadian seniors deserve much better.”

Blaikie and Blaney were joined by Janet McLeod, a senior who shared her story and the national director of Campaign 2000, Leila Sarangi, an anti-poverty advocate.

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