House of Commons Hansard #72 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seniors.

Topics

Opposition Motion--Old Age Security
Business of Supply
Government Orders

February 2nd, 2012 / 3:55 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Terrebonne—Blainville for sharing her time with me and for an excellent speech. There were good points, it was well argued and it was an important message from our new generation of NDP MPs.

It is useful, as we enter into a debate on the old age security regime in this country, to pause and reflect on some of the steps that got us to the position we are in. I am very proud, as an NDP member of Parliament, to take up the cause of defending the integrity of our old age security system, as has been our function and role throughout much of the last century.

I represent the riding of Winnipeg Centre, which is home to two of the greatest champions of social justice, I might say, that this country has ever known. In 1921, the Government of Canada wanted to send J.S. Woodsworth to prison for his role as the leader of the 1919 general strike but the good people of Winnipeg Centre sent him to Parliament in Ottawa instead and he stayed there until his untimely death in 1942.

I raise that subject because, only three years after J.S. Woodsworth arrived in Parliament, the prime minister of the day, William Lyon Mackenzie King, was in trouble. He was going to lose his government and needed the coalition support of what J.S. Woodsworth called the ginger group at the time, the Independent Labour Party. Woodsworth negotiated with Mackenzie King a deal, a condition, a compact, a coalition so to speak. The very art of politics is forming compacts, coalitions and agreements. Woodsworth went to Mackenzie King and said, “If you agree to introduce an old age security regime, I will support your government”. That was the birth of the Canadian old age security system. We have that letter on file at NDP headquarters. It took Mackenzie King a long time to live up to his promise but he indeed did introduce old age security.

When J.S. Woodsworth passed away, he was replaced by the man who is known as the father of the Canadian pension plan, Stanley Knowles. Stanley Knowles represented my riding from 1942 until his stroke in 1984 made it impossible for him to continue. He served continuously, except for the Diefenbaker sweep of 1957. During that time, he was not only the undisputed champion of the Canadian pension plan but he fought and fought to introduce it and the old age security system. There are famous speeches on record that people published in their entirety and circulated across the country as this movement gained momentum. He did not stop fighting until he managed to have the old age security pension indexed to inflation as a secondary objective. This took his entire career but it was his proudest achievement and perhaps one of the most proud achievements of the NDP.

It always seems to fall to us to defend the integrity of the pension system, which has been under continuous assault by successive Conservative governments that do not fundamentally believe in this type of universality of old age security systems.

We can trace what is going on today with the terrible notion that the Prime Minister of Canada would announce fundamental social policy changes in a speech in a foreign country. We can trace it back, or I do at least, to the musings of the unofficial prime minister of Canada at the time, Thomas d'Aquino, the chief executive officer of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. Mr. d'Aquino had a checklist of things he thought Canada needed to do that consisted of 10 or 15 items. One by one he was checking them all off and one of them was, which he announced quite publicly, that Canada had to get out from under the crippling legacy costs.

Nobody really paid too much attention because the term “legacy costs” did not ring any bells. What he meant was pensions. Sure enough, the right wing think tanks started to fall in line and also blame pensions for all of our economic woes. There was no mention of the fact that corporate tax cuts had taken over $100 billion worth of fiscal capacity in the two last governments, the Martin regime and this one.

Even when General Motors and the big auto companies ran into trouble, nobody said that maybe people were not buying their cars because they were making models nobody wanted. Immediately they said that the reason they could not function was because their legacy costs were too great, that they had to get out from under their pensions.

With this notion of never let a good crisis go to waste, they started to segue from the real root cause of their industrial woes and blamed it on this notion that we deserved to retire in some dignity and that we could take seniors out of poverty.

We have three pillars to our old age security system. One is personal savings, whatever one can save and invest during one's working life. Second, hopefully one has a pension through one's workplace, although that is becoming a rarity because of this full frontal assault by the right on the very notion that workplace pensions are possible. Third, is a robust universal government-sponsored pension plan.

The government would have us believe that there is something luxurious and comfortable about the pension system as we know it, the OAS and GIS. In actual fact, when compared with other countries, the replacement of earnings in retirement does not come anywhere close to a lot of western developed nations. It is really quite a modest system.

We have seen this assault on pensions and on the notion of pensions gaining validators and momentum, or currency. In fact, some experts in the field challenge whether it is an emergency at all. Yes, there is a demographic blip, but we would have had the fiscal capacity to provide were it not for the choices made by successive Liberal and Conservative governments to hollow out that fiscal capacity. However, we seem to be able to find money to spend in corporate tax cuts. Let us not kid ourselves. When $6 billion in corporate tax cuts is granted, that is spending money. We argue that is wasteful spending of money, and we believe that has been validated.

The logic was that if we gave those tax cuts to corporations, they would spend that money in the economy, create more jobs and a virtuous cycle would begin. In actual fact, they have been hoarding that money away. Our worst fears are realized. They are stacking it up and stockpiling it like Scrooge McDuck in the comic books, rolling around in their piles of dough but they are not reinvesting. There is no empirical evidence to prove it.

Not a single study in the world has ever proven that a tax cut equals more jobs. The only predictable and verifiable outcome of a tax cut given to companies is that they will have more money and greater profits. That is what was done. It was a transfer of wealth.

In the richest and most powerful civilization in the history of the world, the government cannot tell me that we cannot afford to lift every senior citizen out of poverty.

Our former leader, Jack Layton, costed this out and we ran on that as a platform. Instead of the $6 billion for corporate tax cuts, we could spend $1 billion of that and all 250,000 seniors, who are currently below the poverty line, would at least get to the poverty line. They would not be wealthy, rich or even comfortable. They would still be poor, but out of the depths of abject poverty. That is the cost and it is achievable, yet we go in the opposite direction.

Again, in the spirit of never let a good crisis go to waste, the Conservatives are cutting, hacking and slashing upon ideological lines just as we predicted they would. They are coming up with these dummy saving accounts to offset it. Bill C-25, the bill we were forced to vote on yesterday, is nothing but a 401(k). The only ones who will get rich on that are the stock brokers who will charge a commission every time that money is moved around. It is a 401(k), the Americanization of our pension regime.

We are here to defend the integrity of the old age security in the spirit of Woodsworth and Stanley Knowles. The NDP is proud to present this motion today to flush out the enemies of the public pension system, to denounce them and hold them to account so they will not get away with this. There will be a blue rinse revolution in this land if they proceed in this way.

Opposition Motion--Old Age Security
Business of Supply
Government Orders

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, the member across the way talked about the history of his riding, and his riding does have a proud history with a great parliamentarian like Stanley Knowles.

Looking back, Stanley Knowles was a member of Parliament who sat here for a generation. He suffered from multiple sclerosis. Later on he was the chancellor of Brandon University. He was viewed across the country as a man of honour and integrity.

I wonder what Stanley Knowles would think today of his successor and the type of language he used to describe a member of the other place, Senator Boisvenu, and the damage his family has suffered. I do not think Stanley Knowles would have appreciated the type of language or that type of criticism.

Opposition Motion--Old Age Security
Business of Supply
Government Orders

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I know in the past you have admonished members about relevance. I wonder what the relevance of those comments were. We are talking about old age security.

Opposition Motion--Old Age Security
Business of Supply
Government Orders

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Barry Devolin

The hon. member for Nanaimo--Cowichan is correct. From time to time the Chair does remind members that what they say ought to be relevant to the subject at hand and the speech given. In this case, I will leave it to the hon. member for Winnipeg Centre to respond as he wishes to this matter.

The hon. member for Winnipeg Centre.

Opposition Motion--Old Age Security
Business of Supply
Government Orders

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud of the connection my family has to Stanley Knowles. My grandfather was a dean of theology who taught Stanley Knowles at what was then called Manitoba College, where he received his divinity degree. My grandfather married Stanley Knowles and his wife Vida Cruikshank. Stanley was a pallbearer at my grandfather's funeral. He was a regular and frequent visitor at the dinner table of my grandfather's home.

Stanley Knowles, and his long-standing belief that the Senate should be abolished, would understand completely when someone denounces the irresponsible, reckless, destructive, outrageous comments of a Tory hack who has no business being over there to begin with and has no business commenting on criminal justice issues when he is supposed to be a public servant. It is irresponsible to counsel people to commit suicide on the week before National Suicide Prevention Week.

I used a great deal of restraint in my reaction to his comments.

Opposition Motion--Old Age Security
Business of Supply
Government Orders

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, I always appreciate the member's colleagues in the House.

The member only had 10 minutes. I know that if he had 12 minutes, he would have wanted to go on and remind Canadians that the three pillars we have talked about, old age security, CPP and guaranteed income supplement, although supported by many in the New Democratic Party and some who were seated in the New Democratic Party, were brought in by Liberal governments. If he had 12 minutes, I know he would have wanted to mention that.

I want to ask him about what was said in a scrum yesterday, and that was why the opposition was being so exercised when there was no legislation for the change from age of 65 to 67. It is not out there yet.

I would also ask my colleague to comment on this. We have seen closure executed so many times in the House under the government. Where there is smoke, there is fire. When the comments were made in Davos, we can certainly expect to see legislation coming forward. Therefore, our responsibility as opposition is to ensure that Canadians know what is coming down the pike.

Does my colleague share that nervousness, that concern of what may be coming from the government next?

Opposition Motion--Old Age Security
Business of Supply
Government Orders

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I can tell my colleague that the phone in my office is ringing off the hook with concerned senior citizens. In the absence of any concrete details from the Prime Minister, just this law, this scattergun comment that leaves all possibilities open, there is serious concern throughout the land. It is a reckless and irresponsible way to introduce a subject regarding social policy.

We have a right to know what is in the mind of the Prime Minister. First, we have a right to know the scale and the scope of the problem as the government sees it and if there is any evidence that there is in fact an actuarial emergency, as it would have us believe. Second, we have a right to know what measures and what concrete steps it is proposing so we can do our due diligence and represent the people who elected us to ensure this is done in such a way that it does not impact people negatively.

Opposition Motion--Old Age Security
Business of Supply
Government Orders

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Barry Devolin

It is my duty, pursuant to Standing Order 38, to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Chambly—Borduas, Post-secondary Education; the hon. member for Montcalm, Persons with Disabilities; the hon. member for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, The Environment.

Opposition Motion--Old Age Security
Business of Supply
Government Orders

4:15 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise, like always, out of a sense of pride to address important issues in the House, but also with a great sense of frustration on behalf of a lot of Canadians who are very worried about their retirement futures.

They have watched the Prime Minister trial balloon this notion, this idea, that there is a crisis in the Canadian pension system. They understand the issue of the aging demographic. Canadians are serious people who understand these issues. They want government to be honest with them and to provide real solutions.

When the Prime Minister trial ballooned increasing the age of qualification for the OAS from 65 to 67 years of age in Davos, he frightened a lot of Canadians, a lot of people who look toward their retirement age of 65, people who have, in many cases, worked their entire lives in labour or in a trade, who have saved enough so they can take care of themselves with some level of dignity post-65, providing that they also receive the OAS. They are shocked, surprised and are very fearful of what their future looks like.

They are people who have done all the right things. They have worked hard. They have saved money. They have planned for the future and they fear that just as they are within reach of that future, the Conservative government is threatening to pull the rug out from under them and to, in a very callous way, destroy their future retirement.

Today, the Minister of Finance confirmed that the upcoming federal budget would include cuts to old age security. This, despite the fact that the Conservatives promised in the last election not to cut transfers to individuals or pensions. This, despite the fact that the old age security program, as it is set up currently, is in fact sustainable. The Globe and Mail wrote this week:

Expert advice commissioned by the federal government contradicts [the Prime Minister's] warnings that Canada can’t afford the looming bill for Old Age Security payments....research prepared at Ottawa’s request argues Canada’s pension system is in far better shape than the Europeans’, and there’s no need to raise the retirement age.

As we have heard, the federal government currently spends about 2.4% of GDP on OAS payments. In 2030, we are told spending on OAS payments will rise to about 3.14% of GDP.

The amount we spend on OAS clearly fluctuates with demographics. For example, in 1992, federal spending on OAS represented 2.72% of GDP.

The expected rise in old age security between now and 2030 can be manageable. It is simply a matter of priorities. After 2030, spending on OAS as a percentage of the economy is expected to fall once again until it is even below today's levels.

The Conservatives do not like it when we talk about future government spending as a percentage of the economy or a percentage of the GDP. The Conservatives want to scare us with nominal numbers without considering what our ability would be to actually pay.

This is not surprising, because the Conservatives do not like evidence. They prefer making decisions based on ideology, not evidence, and they often ignore the facts when they make decisions.

For examples, yesterday the Minister of Public Safety told parliamentarians to ignore the statistics that showed that crime rates in Canada continue to fall.

Yesterday the chief economist at Statistics Canada quit because of the Conservatives' habit of placing ideology ahead of facts, evidence and statistics.

Yesterday the Conservatives quietly made data from Statistics Canada available for free on line, but since the Conservatives got rid of the mandatory long form census, the data is really quite worthless, so they would not be able to continue selling it anyway. Nobody wants to buy data that is not statistically credible or pertinent.

Now the Conservatives are trying to scare Canadians into believing that the OAS system is somehow about to crumble.

I would like to share with members what the experts are saying on this issue.

Thomas Klassen, a political scientist who recently published research on Canada's OAS, has said:

I haven't heard any academic argue that there's a crisis with OAS, which is why I was surprised a few days ago when the Prime Minister seemed to say there was a crisis... because I don't know where that came from.

From a column in The Globe and Mail earlier this week:

Kevin Milligan, a University of British Columbia economics professor who co-authored another of the supporting research papers prepared for Ottawa, is also of the view that there's no OAS crisis. He says the government's use of statistics showing the cost of OAS will climb from $36.5 billion in 2010 to $108 billion in 2030 is not meaningful because of the impact of inflation.

He says that we should be using percentage of GDP numbers instead. He says:

As an economist, I would never characterize things in terms of nominal dollars in the future because it's hard to put those in context. I don't know what we'll be paying for a litre of milk then.

Meanwhile the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance said measuring OAS payment as a percentage of the economy is misleading Canadians. Somehow, looking ahead to 2030 and, instead of putting it at a nominal value, putting it into real terms as a percentage of GDP was somehow misleading Canadians. To the contrary.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance is misleading Canadians when she speaks in nominal numbers for 2030. Everybody else who is obviously taking the cost of the OAS as a percentage of GDP is then providing Canadians with important information. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance actually said “We're talking in dollars. Talking in terms of percentages is misleading”. Sadly, it is not the first time that the parliamentary secretary for finance has been confused by the expression of government expense as a percentage of GDP, but I digress.

Further, in terms of the fact that there is no evidence of a real crisis, the government's own report concludes that our pension system, including OAS and GIS, is sustainable. I will quote from this report called “Canada's retirement-income provision: An international perspective”. Edward Whitehouse states:

The analysis suggests that Canada does not face major challenges of financial sustainability with its public pension schemes... There is no pressing financial or fiscal need to increase pension ages in the foreseeable future.

Again, this is from a report commissioned by the government. It commissioned experts to provide it with expert advice based on evidence.

According to this report, the current system is working well:

Canada's public retirement income system provides strong protection for interrupted work histories without unduly affecting incentives for people to work and to save.

Even if there were a crisis in the sustainability of the OAS or our pension systems, one would think that if the government were going to try to strengthen the pension plan to ensure it was sustainable, it would do it in a way that was progressive and fair. This is what the Liberal government did in the 1990s with the CPP, for example, to ensure that it was sustainable for generations in decades ahead.

We have established that there is not a crisis. The Conservatives are doing this for ideological reasons. Even if they felt there were a crisis one would think they would want to be progressive and fair and ensure that the most vulnerable would not be affected most severely by those changes. In fact, to the contrary.

The Conservative government was able to find billions of dollars to enable income splitting which, if affordable, is fine. Yet income splitting disproportionately benefits middle and upper income Canadians. The Conservatives found billions to help with that.

This move, raising the age of qualification for the OAS, would disproportionately hurt low-income Canadians. Forty per cent of OAS recipients get by. They struggle to survive on less than $20,000 per year. More than 50% of OAS recipients make less than $25,000 per year. What kind of government, if it were in fact faced with a crisis of sustainability in our pension system, would solve it by hurting the poorest of the poor?

It is also anti-rural, anti-small town and anti-Atlantic Canada. Rural Canada, small-town Canada and Atlantic Canada have more seniors than urban Canada. That is the reality. Parts of Canada, such as Alberta and Saskatchewan, are doing very well. They had the vision, foresight and wisdom to put oil and gas and potash under the ground. However, large parts of Canada are struggling. The Maritimes, large parts of Ontario and Quebec, and a lot of rural communities are struggling. We are struggling to keep rural communities alive. In the three counties of Hants county, Kings county and Annapolis county, we have lost almost 7,000 full-time jobs since August 2008. We have seen unemployment rates go from about 5.5% to over 8% in the last three years. We have seen families struggling just to make ends meet. Small businesses are going broke. They cannot survive if people cannot afford to go to their little restaurant or to shop at their little store. Do not be fooled when the government talks about how well the economy is doing. If we break it down by region, if we break it down between urban and rural, there is a lot of hardship in Canada right now.

This threat to increase the age of qualification for the OAS would make things worse in rural Canada, small-town Canada and Atlantic Canada.

For example, in Nova Scotia, we have the highest percentage of seniors in the country as a percentage of our population. Seniors comprise 16% of the population in our province. The median income for seniors in Nova Scotia is $21,290 per year. That is almost $2,000 less than the Canadian median income of $23,110 for seniors.

In Nova Scotia, OAS represents 24.6% of seniors' income. That is much higher than the Canadian average of 21.1%.

We have established that this is a regressive step. It is bad for low-income Canadians, Atlantic Canadians, Nova Scotians and rural Canadians. It also bad for single women. For women, the OAS and the GIS are more important, in many ways, than the CPP or the QPP. Unlike the CPP, the OAS and the guaranteed income supplement cover Canadians who have taken time away from the workforce. For example, people who have stayed at home to take care of their children or who have persistently had lower paying jobs or long-term unemployment. I mention the GIS because, the way our system works, we cannot qualify for GIS unless we qualify for OAS. Raising the qualification age for OAS would be doubly regressive. Not only is OAS there to help low-income Canadians, but the GIS is absolutely essential for the lowest income retirees.

According to the 2009 report, “Government and Retirement Incomes in Canada”, by Michael Baker and Kevin Milligan, again a government-commissioned report, by the ages of 60 to 64, employment income represents 40% of income, on average, for men but just 28% of income for women. We know that generationally, particularly in the past, a lot more women were doing work that was not compensated in a monetary sense, important work, but work that was not part of the financial system or part of the formal economy. Meanwhile, 23.9% of women aged 65 received GIS, compared with only 19.6% of men. We know that the GIS and the OAS are even more important to women than they are to men.

The Conservatives' policy on income splitting, which I mentioned earlier, predominantly helps well off, single income couples. Now the Conservatives are getting ready to attack low-income families and single women who rely on OAS and GIS when they turn 65.

It is unfair to women. It is unfair to low-income Canadians. It is unfair to rural Canada. It is unfair to Atlantic Canada. It represents an off-loading to the provinces, without any discussion or consultation. The cutting of OAS, raising the age of qualification from 65 to 67, will force thousands of low-income seniors onto provincial welfare rolls.

The feds are downloading these costs, similar to how they are downloading prison costs. We know that the prisons will cost the federal government billions of dollars. We are also finding out that there will be billions of dollars imposed on provincial governments.

I am hearing from constituents in my riding of Kings—Hants, which is of course a rural Nova Scotian riding, a riding that would be hit hard by this kind of regressive step. Fred Rhymes from Centre Burlington has contacted us. He retired early because of his health. This is a guy who worked hard. He saved carefully all his life. His savings were hit badly during the financial crisis. He is now counting on OAS to fill in the gaps when he turns 65. He is very concerned about what the government intends to do. It has been trial ballooned in a callous way. Now we understand there will be some clarity in the budget.

Another fellow who called us was Bryan Draper from Port Williams. Bryan has said that OAS and the social safety net must be there for the Canadians who need it. He referred to the gap between rich and poor and the fact that it is widening. This is not just a Canadian phenomenon. The reality is the gap between rich and poor is growing around the world.

In fact, it is ironic. The Prime Minister was at the Davos conference of the World Economic Forum. Global leaders from countries around the world actually said that the gap between rich and poor is growing and needs to be addressed. Klaus Schwab said in the opening remarks that it is critically important that we address the gap between rich and poor.

I talked to somebody about this a couple of years ago. A business person with a lot of money said that Marx may have been wrong about communism, but he may yet prove correct on capitalism if we are not careful.

People like Warren Buffett, who is no slouch when it comes to business, is saying the gap between rich and poor is wrong. He actually asked the people working in his office to tell him what percentage of their income they were paying in income tax, on a voluntary basis. He found out that his cleaning lady was paying a higher percentage of her income in taxes than he does. This is Warren Buffett, hardly an anti-capitalist.

This is not a question of ideology. This is a question of civility, of doing what is right and changing our tax system and our social system to be fair. It is not just a question of the economy. It is a question of the sustainability of our society. To have the Government of Canada, this Conservative government, threatening to make it worse makes me very frustrated.

I had another note from a constituent who said:

My wife and I are two of the many Canadians who have made financial plans for retirement on the assumption the OAS would be there for us at the age of 65.

Thousands of us who have worked hard and done the right thing will be badly hurt by any wait required for OAS.

Finally, on the politics of deception, the Prime Minister knew that this demographic shift was upon us. The world has known this. Everybody who has been looking at public policy knew this. Why did he not talk about it during the election? Why did he not give Canadians the straight goods that this was a problem? Why did he tell Canadians that he would not, and he was absolutely unequivocal, cut transfers to seniors during the election? Canadians deserve to know the truth. They can handle the truth. They deserve honesty from their government.

Opposition Motion--Old Age Security
Business of Supply
Government Orders

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is this: Is there a demographic shift or not?

At the end of the member's speech he mentioned there is. At the beginning of his speech he mentioned that there is no long form census and then questioned all kinds of things about long-term planning. I wonder what kind of long-term planning the member is talking about. Is he talking about the long-term planning the Liberal party used before it drained $50 billion out of the employment insurance fund and then left it empty? By the way, those were contributions by employers and employees.

Is this the kind of wisdom the members opposite are talking about?

I guess my question for the member is whether Canadians should take his assertion about there being no long form census right now, which in fact there is, as many of them were filled out and returned to Statistics Canada, as an example of the validity and truthfulness of his speech?

Opposition Motion--Old Age Security
Business of Supply
Government Orders

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Respectfully, Mr. Speaker, I do not think anyone in the House understands what the hon. member just asked, except perhaps the hon. member. I will give him the benefit of the doubt and try to pick some scintilla of logic out of that.

I will start off with the long-term planning issue he raised. I am very proud that it was a Liberal government that not only inherited a $43 billion deficit, a record high deficit at that time, until recently when this Conservative government was able to beat that record, but also paid down that deficit and over $100 billion of the national debt, giving the current government the best incoming fiscal situation of any incoming government in the history of the country.

Beyond that, the Liberal government in the late 1990s strengthened CPP and made it sustainable for generations. While it was doing that it was criticized by the Reform party and the Canadian Alliance Party for taking steps to make the pension plan sustainable.

Opposition Motion--Old Age Security
Business of Supply
Government Orders

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Where were you then, Scotty?

Opposition Motion--Old Age Security
Business of Supply
Government Orders

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

I was certainly not a member of the Reform party, I can say that much.

Opposition Motion--Old Age Security
Business of Supply
Government Orders

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

You certainly weren't a member of Liberal party, either.

Opposition Motion--Old Age Security
Business of Supply
Government Orders

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Beyond that, it was the Reform party that was opposed to that. It is ironic that the Prime Minister took credit at Davos for having a great pension plan when in fact he was against the measures taken to give Canada a great pension plan.