Mr. Speaker, the member for London—Fanshawe should know that this year Canadians will receive close to $72 billion in benefits through the Canada pension plan, as well as the old age security programs and the GIS. It is true that these benefits do not come automatically. Older Canadians have to apply for them. That is why we have taken steps to inform Canadians about their eligibility for these benefits through the application process.
Through HRSDC and Service Canada, our government uses direct mail, information campaigns and partnerships with community organizations to reach out to seniors to tell them about their eligibility for OAS and GIS. Some of these efforts are aimed at seniors who are particularly hard to reach. These could include people who live in remote areas, immigrants, aboriginal seniors, seniors with disabilities or those who do not speak either English or French.
More than 600,000 application forms are issued to Canadian seniors not yet receiving CPP or OAS to encourage them to apply. Every year, mail-outs of thousands of pre-filled applications to people who qualify for the GIS are completed. Most GIS recipients only need to apply once and then it will happen automatically for their renewal. We are making great efforts in order to make sure low-income seniors are informed about their benefits.