Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions for the Government of Canada regarding seniors. The signatories wish to remind their government that the unification of seniors with their families through immigration is a core aspect of forming strong and vibrant families and communities. Newcomer seniors currently suffer discriminatory eligibility criteria within Canada's income security program. For example, there is a one year residency for some, while others have a 10 year requirement. Canada's old age security, guaranteed income supplement and social assistance programs are age, capacity and needs-based programs, not individual contribution-based income security plans.
The petitioners call upon the government to amend the Old Age Security Act, regulations and policies to eliminate the 10 year residency requirement for OAS and GIS; waive the enforcement of sponsorship obligations through government cost recovery schemes as a condition of financial support of genuine immigration breakdown involving a senior; establish a nominal public transit charge for all seniors in Canada, like the $45 per year charge for B.C. seniors; and provide government funding to support more ethno-specific affordable housing for seniors who need and desire it. I support this petition.