Mr. Speaker, in January, I rose in the House to ask a question about the Liberal government's broken promise to make the guaranteed income supplement available to all our seniors. Thousands of low-income or very low-income seniors are still struggling to make ends meet, even though they are eligible for the guaranteed income supplement. Why are they not receiving it? Because this government did not make it automatically available to all seniors.
When I talk to my constituents about this, they tell me that this is absurd and unfair, and they are right. Of course, I commend the fact that since January 1, low-income seniors have been getting the guaranteed income supplement when they turn 65. The NDP had been calling for that for a long time and were finally heard. However, the government tripped at the finish line. Instead of making the GIS available to everyone, it is applying this change only to people who turn 65 and not to those who are already over 65. Thousands of seniors are living in a precarious situation. Our seniors who are most in need are being left behind.
Let me make one thing clear: as long as one senior is living in poverty and not receiving the guaranteed income supplement, I will continue to rise in this House. I have said it before, and I will say it again: even one senior living in poverty is one too many. Seniors who are eligible for these benefits must be automatically enrolled for the guaranteed income supplement. This government must keep its promises and ensure that all our seniors can live with dignity and get a decent income. As an aside, I would like to commend the work being done by the Richelieu-Yamaska branch of FADOQ and thank everyone in Saint-Hyacinthe and Acton Vale who is speaking out against this injustice and calling on this government to act now. Their calls echo ours, and they can count on my support and that of the NDP caucus to represent them.
The Prime Minister and the Liberal government love calling themselves progressive. This is a great opportunity for them to prove it for once through concrete action, rather than just empty rhetoric. That is why the NDP has been asking for quite some time now that everyone eligible to receive the guaranteed income supplement be automatically enrolled. The NDP is calling on the government to make the guaranteed income supplement automatic so that all seniors can finally access it. We also call on the government to enhance this measure in order to lift all our seniors out of poverty. We need to act now.
For quite some time now, the NDP has been asking that everyone who is eligible receive the guaranteed income supplement, because we in the NDP believe it is impossible for these individuals to live on less than $10,000. Does this government think otherwise? Can this government say here in the House that $10,000 a year is enough?
Once again, this government promised to lift hundreds of thousands of seniors out of poverty. I urge this government to fulfill its commitments once and for all and to take action. If the Liberals do not know how to help the thousands of seniors who are still living in precarious situations, the NDP would be happy to give them a very simple solution that they could put in place tomorrow morning: make the guaranteed income supplement automatic for everyone.