Increased Old Age Security cheques cause new wave of outrage | Telegraph-Journal


Increased Old Age Security cheques cause new wave of outrage | Telegraph-Journal

Older Canadian seniors who qualify for Old Age Security will get an extra $500 from the federal government this week.

And it’s causing a new wave of outrage among those who are being left out.

April’s federal Liberal budget included a move to see all Canadians 75 or over as of June 2022 receive a one-time payment of $500 in August.

They started to land in mailboxes, a day after Justin Trudeau triggered a federal election.

It has younger New Brunswick seniors crying foul, and watching the federal campaigns closely for any hint of a correction.

“It has created a two-tier system of seniors,” Coalition for Seniors executive director Cecile Cassista said, suggesting that the move “discriminates” based on age.

“It draws a line.”

Cassista added an ominous warning: “It’s unfortunate that the Trudeau government chooses to discriminate on the backs of the aging population. They are the majority of voters.

“It just might change how they vote.”

The $500 cheques are just the first step of the plan.

The Liberal government’s budget also introduced an increase in regular Old Age Security cheques for pensioners 75 and over by 10 per cent as of July 2022.

Trudeau has maintained that Old Age Security cheques for the country’s oldest seniors are being topped up as Canadians are living longer, and in turn running out of money, despite it being a contentious move as it excludes OAS recipients aged 65 to 74.

Brunswick News has received an influx of letters from senior readers on the issue since the election was called.

On the campaign trail, the Liberals haven’t proposed changes to their plan as of yet.

Meanwhile, no other party has stepped in with a different pledge.

“Not one party is talking about addressing the issue, it's a real shame,” Cassista said.

Ahead of the federal Liberal budget earlier this year, the House of Commons did adopt a motion calling on the government to include a $110-per-month boost to OAS benefits for all eligible recipients.

In a 183-147 vote, the Bloc Québécois motion was supported by Bloc, NDP and Conservative MPs, however Liberals voted against it.

The non-binding motion has yet to spur new commitments from other parties.

The federal Conservative election platform, released in full on Monday, doesn’t address Old Age Security at all.

“We were disappointed with it,” Cassista said.

Instead, for seniors, the Conservative platform pitches a new Canada Seniors Care benefit, paying $200 per month per household to any Canadian who is living with and taking care of a parent over the age of 70.

The platform also calls on provinces to work with a Conservative federal government to develop a set of best practices for long-term care homes, earmarking $3 billion of infrastructure funding to renovations.

The Conservatives are also promising to double the Canada Workers Benefit up to a maximum of $2,800 for individuals or $5,000 for families to help give seniors who choose to continue working past retirement “a bit more income.”

It will provide a $1 an hour raise for low-income seniors.

More to come...