Mr. Speaker, my remarks are going to be very brief because I spoke to this issue just last week during the debate on the hon. member's Motion No. 383.
I want to point out again that the federal government proactively contacts millions of Canadian seniors to inform them of the benefits to which they are entitled.
I have to point out to the member that we have done a lot for seniors. We have given seniors their own secretariat and their own voice at the cabinet table. We have acted very quickly to support seniors issues.
Within months after being elected, we introduced Bill C-36 which strengthened the CPP and the old age security programs. We simplified that application process. We had many changes. We reduced the number of seniors living in poverty. The government has overseen two increases in the guaranteed income supplement.
Effective January 2006, we raised the GIS by 3.5% and raised it again in January 2007. These measures are providing all single recipients of the guaranteed income supplement with an additional $430 per year and $700 per couple.
These increases will raise the total guaranteed income supplement by more than $2.7 billion in the next five years. These increases will benefit 1.6 million guaranteed income supplement recipients. This is more than 50,000 seniors who were not eligible for the program under the previous Liberal government.
In closing, I want to thank the hon. member across the way for her question, but I want to assure the member that Canadian seniors have finally found a government that really is interested in their issues and is responding.