Speaking up for Seniors in Parliament

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the guaranteed income supplement was put in place 40 years ago to address seniors' poverty in Canada, but because of the government's failure to keep up with the times, seniors are falling behind. Costs are rising on everything from food to home heating. Once again, seniors are being left out in the cold. We learned today that the number of seniors using food banks has escalated over the past decade. What is the government's plan to help impoverished Canadian seniors?

Hon. Alice Wong (Minister of State (Seniors), CPC): Mr. Speaker, I will take no lesson from an opposition party which has voted against all of our measures to help seniors. Canada's seniors have--

Some hon.  members: Hear, hear!

The Speaker: Order. The hon. Minister of State has the floor.

Hon. Alice Wong: Mr. Speaker, I will take no lesson from the opposition party,which has voted against all of our measures on behalf of seniors.

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, of course we voted against it, because the government's so-called plan left too many seniors at the food banks' doors!

We could act on seniors' poverty right now. New Democrats have put forward a practical, affordable plan to increase the GIS and lift every senior in this country out of poverty. We have the blueprint. All the government has to do is act. Could the government explain its inaction on seniors' poverty?