Celebrating Our Seniors
Supporting Canadian Seniors’
Thanks to the hard work of our seniors, Canada is undoubtedly the greatest country on earth. I’m extremely proud to have delivered expanded support for Canadian Seniors. Our previous Conservative Government delivered over $2 billion in targeted tax relief annually through:
- Introduction of pension income splitting;
- An increased maturation age limit for Registered Retirement Savings Plans/Registered Pension Plans from 69 to 71 years of age;
- Two separate $1000 increases to the Age Credit, once in 2006 and again in 2009, which provides additional tax savings to 2.2 million seniors;
- A doubling of the amount of pension income that can be claimed under the Pension Income Tax Credit, which removed 85,000 seniors from tax rolls completely;
- The introduction and expansion of the Tax Free Savings Account, which is particularly beneficial to seniors given that its withdrawals are GIS-exempt; and
- Enhancing the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), to further improve the financial security and well-being of more than 680 000 seniors.
Under the previous Conservative Government, 380,000 low income seniors were removed completely from the tax rolls. This means that seniors no longer had to payfederal income taxes. Furthermore, we succeeded in our efforts to reduce red tape by introducing automatic GIS renewal for seniors who file their taxes through a new streamlined application process. Our support for seniors continued with the introduction of programs such as, New Horizons for seniors which has seen $393,833 come directly into Oshawa and has funded nearly 20 projects designed for seniors in our community.
While I am extremely proud of these measures, it remains as important as ever to continue supporting our seniors. Canadian seniors are asking the Government to develop a comprehensive National Seniors Strategy that will meet their unique and growing needs. A National Seniors Strategy would ensure that many of the issues important to seniors — such as establishing a national strategy for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, improving palliative care, and ensuring quality homecare — are listened to and addressed.
Appointing a Minister for seniors is the first concrete step toward having a voice in government that will begin to develop a National Strategy for seniors. This will help the government identify next steps for how best to meet the needs of Canadian seniors. I look forward to working with my Official Opposition colleagues to ensure that the issues facing Canadian seniors remain at the forefront of the dialogue in Ottawa.