October 1st, designated as International Day of Older Persons, is a day to commemorate the contributions of seniors to our society.
This year’s theme, “The future we want: what older persons are saying”, highlights the need to bring together all stakeholders, including seniors and government representatives, to discuss the issues of senior welfare and ageing. The Greens recognize the importance of this discussion, in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments, to promote the independence, well-being and dignity of our seniors. The Harper Conservatives, however, do not seem to be listening.
Canada’s senior population has a wealth of experience that has contributed immeasurably to our society and has shaped the country we celebrate today. The Harper Conservatives, however, seem to consider our aging population a primary threat to our social services and economy, and have attacked Old Age Security benefits by increasing the age of eligibility. This policy is extremely regressive and will further impoverish our vulnerable elderly population, fostering greater economic inequality in Canada.
Policy makers need to consider seniors’ needs when dealing with healthcare, public transit, and safety, as well as fairer taxes and secure pensions. Many Canadians have advocated for sensible pension reforms to keep our growing elderly population out of poverty. The Greens support an enhancement of the Canada Pension Plan – a proven system that may be modified to offer enhanced benefits – in order to allow our seniors to retire with dignity and without intergenerational subsidies.