Good morning, honourable members and members of the general public.
My name is Kevin Stacey. I'm with the National Association of Federal Retirees. I'm the president of the local branch of the Avalon-Burin branch here. We have about 2,200 members. In Newfoundland we have about 3,500 members, and across Canada we are 180,000 members and growing.
I'd like to make a few key points to you today. First, secure retirements, strong health care, and a national seniors strategy are the best ways to help seniors and their families. On retirement security, I urge this government to scrap Bill C-27. This bill would introduce a new type of pension plan, Canada benefit pensions, while taking away retirement security and killing off good old defined benefit plans that people have worked for and that bring back benefits to both the local and national economies.
For budget 2018, I believe the federal government should lead a national seniors strategy that builds on the home care and seniors housing investments that have been made so far. The strategy needs to include a national palliative and end-of-life care strategy and better pharmacare for seniors. It must continue to tackle infrastructure investment, with age-friendly communities and universal design standards in mind to ensure that seniors' residential needs are met. The government should appoint a minister responsible for seniors to make sure that public policy decisions are always viewed through a seniors lens. These actions would lead to better productivity and a stronger economy, not just for seniors but also for their families and for Canadian communities.
Thank you very much.