Question Period: Why do Conservatives not care about seniors' poverty?

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, let us take a look at what the Conservatives waste taxpayer money on instead of helping seniors, especially low-income seniors when they retire: inefficient private pension plans; billions for failed fighter jets; and let us not forget glow sticks and gazebos in Muskoka.

Now we will not know the effects of the hardships caused by denying OAS for two extra years because the government cut the National Council of Welfare.

Did the Conservatives eliminate the council because they want to hide the truth about seniors poverty from Canadians?


Kellie Leitch Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, let us be very clear. Our budget is focused on making sure individuals have jobs. That is the best way to eliminate poverty: making sure individuals have jobs.

With respect to the National Council of Welfare, we are putting our policy resources to best use and in the most efficient manner. There are many non-governmental organizations that provide comparable independent advice and research on poverty and other related issues.

We will continue to take poverty very seriously, but we are also going to be focused on making sure Canadians have the skills they need so that they can participate in the economy.


Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives will not listen to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, so what makes us think they will listen to anyone else?

They want to hide the fact that pushing the retirement age back to 67 is going to hurt low-income seniors, so they have eliminated the National Council of Welfare. The government thinks if poverty is not measured, it simply does not exist. Low-income seniors will slip between the cracks and the Conservatives will continue to choose their big business friends over those who truly need help.

Why will the Conservatives not come clean and admit they do not care about seniors living in poverty?