moved for leave to introduce Bill C-318, An Act to amend the Old Age Security Act (Canada Pension Plan payments).
Mr. Speaker, I will begin by thanking my colleague, the member for London—Fanshawe, and our party's tireless seniors' advocate for seconding this bill.
Saturday was National Seniors' Day but, sadly, that was in name only. There has not been a single new initiative from the Conservative government to help the most vulnerable seniors. A quarter of a million seniors live in poverty in our country today and many more are at risk of falling into poverty as the retirement savings plummet in this continuing economic downturn.
The one thing many can count on is the cost of living increase on their CPP. However, as it turns out, even that is not always theirs to keep. Often, even this marginal increase triggers a commensurate clawback of their GIS, leaving them no further ahead. That simply is not right.
The bill that I am introducing in the House today would prohibit any reduction in the guaranteed income supplement if the only change to one's income is as a result of CPP indexing.
While I know this bill is not enough to fix the larger imperative of lifting all seniors out of poverty, it would at least allow their net income to keep pace with the rising cost of inflation. If the government is serious about honouring the spirit of National Seniors' Day, it will immediately adopt this bill into law.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)