Mr. Speaker, as I indicated in my speech, and as my colleagues pointed out earlier, the Bloc Québécois is in favour of this bill. We intend to support it. There will be no filibustering tactics to prevent this bill from being adopted. However, I would personally like the committee to hear witnesses on the various issues that I raised, including making retroactive payments to those who should have been receiving guaranteed income supplement benefits over the past two or three years.
My point is the same as the one made by my colleague with his example. If someone who has been making sacrifices for two or three years because his or her income was low—and if that person qualified for the guaranteed income supplement, it is because his or her income was indeed quite low—suddenly finds out that he or she should have been getting the supplement, it seems to me that we should be able to come up with a solution to deal with this situation. The committee could hear witnesses on this issue, and also people with disabilities or health problems. We should ensure consistency among all the government policies, the Canada pension plan or the Quebec pension plan—in the case of Quebec—and the superannuation system. Just because these programs are interrelated does not mean that if we give benefits to one group, we should deprive others from benefits that they are already getting and that they also need.
The Bloc Québécois has taken this issue seriously for many years and has fought very hard for it. One of my best moments as a member of Parliament was to take the initiative of organizing a tour and ask if public servants would come with me and meet people who did not know what the guaranteed income supplement was, even though they should have been getting it. Dozens of Bloc Québécois members did likewise. This enabled us to make very good contact with people who have dedicated their lives to their families, to our society. Whenever we would meet 50 or 60 of these people, there would be two or three or four in that situation. Sometimes, someone aged 33 or 35 would be present at the meeting and would tell us that he or she was going to check things out, because his or her parents were not getting the guaranteed income supplement when they should be receiving it. This kind of positive action has produced interesting results. Today, it is reflected in part in the bill. Consequently, we will support this legislation, but we will expect the government to continue to work to ensure that the program becomes fair in every respect. This will be achieved by ensuring full retroactivity.