Consulting Seniors, Taking on Harper's OAS Cuts

NDP MPs meeting with CARP, seniors groups to discuss best ways to oppose Conservative cuts

 OTTAWA – On the heels of ominous warnings from Stephen Harper’s government about cuts to OAS, New Democrats met today with the Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP). They discussed how seniors will be affected and worked on the best ways to oppose Conservative cuts to seniors.

 “Seniors just can’t trust this government,” said New Democrat Leader Nycole Turmel. “At a time when a quarter million seniors are living in poverty, Stephen Harper wants to make it harder for them to retire with dignity. That’s plain wrong.”

 The meeting, organized by New Democrat Pensions Critic Wayne Marston, explored the implications of the government’s proposed OAS cuts and how seniors can be protected. Turmel, Marston, New Democrat Seniors Critic Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) and Deputy Critic Alain Giguère (Marc-Aurèle-Fortin) participated.

“Mr. Harper didn’t say a word about OAS during the last election and didn’t bother to consult with anyone,” Turmel said. “Instead he dropped this bombshell at a meeting with the world’s elite in Davos. New Democrats do things differently—we want to know what seniors think.”

New Democrats also plan to meet with other seniors groups, such as the National Pensioners and Senior Citizens Federation. She met with the Fédération des aînées et des aînés francophones du Canada in the fall.

As the Seniors Critic, Mathyssen hosted round tables with seniors organizations in Toronto, and Ottawa in late 2011. Additional roundtables are planned for western Canada early in the spring.  

“This government dished out a whopping $1.4 billion in corporate tax cuts last year, which as workers at Electro-Motive can attest to, are NOT creating jobs. Now Conservatives are saying there’s no money left for pensions?” Mathyssen said. “They’ve got their priorities wrong and seniors are going to pay the price.”