Thursday, 21 March 2019

Improving the lives of Canadian seniors

Canada’s senior citizens are an important and valued segment of our society. They built our economic and cultural foundations, and they continue to contribute to society through semi-retirement jobs, extensive volunteer work, and mentoring.

The well-being of our seniors is a priority for our federal government, and we have put in place several programs to assist them.

The previous Conservative government planned to raise the eligibility age for old age security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) to 67, wreaking havoc with the retirement dreams of countless Canadians. One of the first changes made by our Liberal government was restoring the eligibility age to 65. It is only fair to give seniors the option of retiring at age 65.

To make life more affordable for our seniors and retirees, we’ve made changes to ensure that they receive their benefits as soon as possible. Targeted outreach to seniors who qualify for OAS and GIS, and auto enrolment of GIS benefits will help seniors benefit promptly from programs designed for them.

We have also increased OAS and GIS benefits.

A senior can receive up to $1,700 more annually, compared to before we were in government. Phased increases to Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits will increase the maximum retirement benefit by up to 50 per cent. These improvements will give seniors greater financial security.

Enjoying our retirement years at home is something we all want. Our federal government is making ‘aging in place’ a reality for many seniors by improving access to affordable housing, supporting caregivers with tax credits and employment insurance benefits, and investing in home health care.

Our commitment to seniors is clearly evident in the recent appointment of Filomena Tassi as the first minister of seniors. Tassi will help to ensure that federal programs meet the needs of our aging population.

Our federal government wants every Canadian senior to receive the support and care they need. I am proud of the investments made to close gaps in our system and help our seniors retire with dignity.

— John Oliver is the member of parliament for Oakville. Visit or contact him at [email protected].


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