Absolutely. Thank you for the question.
Today, using the low-income measure, there are about 600,000 Canadian seniors living in poverty. The poverty line is different for each geographic region. It's not to say that all those who are living in poverty are just under the poverty line; rather, many are in the mean, which is sometimes in the range of $9,000 a year. This is clearly not enough for people to live on, and when they live in poverty, it's severe poverty.
The amounts that are in the budget today and the other help for improvements to housing and so on will of course make a difference; in fact, the increases to GIS are supposed to help 900,000 seniors. That is also commendable, but will it lift every one of them out of poverty? The answer is no. The exact amount that is necessary has not been identified, but the fact remains that this is not enough to reach the actual goal that we should be reaching for, and that is to make sure that no senior is living in poverty in Canada.
Obviously, the patchwork that we have, while welcome, needs to be improved. We could make improvements, within the context of this committee's mandate, by increasing the amount, or by broadening the date on which it happens.