We know that any increase in the cost of living impacts vulnerable Canadians the most, including seniors who may rely on government support to maintain active, independent, and healthy lives.
While we have taken steps to implement supports for Canadian families, such as the Canada Child Benefit, we have also taken decisive steps to maintain and improve the quality of life for our seniors. Seniors make significant contributions to our country, and we are committed to supporting them, today and tomorrow, through a whole-of-government approach. It’s why Prime Minister Justin Trudeau named a Minister for Seniors, Filomena Tassi, to work with cabinet colleagues on seniors issues across government departments.
After taking office, we increased the Guaranteed Income Supplement by up to $947, which will help nearly a million vulnerable single seniors, and restored the age of eligibility for OAS to 65 after the Harper Conservatives decided to raise it to 67. We have also made historic investments of $6 billion over ten years to provinces and territories to improve home and community care. This predictable, long-term funding represents a major step towards better home care, which will benefit Canadian seniors across the country.
We also created the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare, which is currently consulting experts and will provide our government with independent advice on a potential national program. While Canadians are proud of our publicly-funded health care system, too many pay too much for prescription drugs. No one should have to choose between paying for prescriptions and keeping the lights on.
Finally, Liberals were thrilled to support Motion M-106, introduced in the House of Commons by my Northern Ontario colleague and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Rural Economic Development MP Marc Serré. This motion called for discussion of a National Seniors Strategy. The National Seniors Council is looking into this and will be reporting to the Minister about the feasibility and scope of a potential seniors’ strategy.
We will continue to study issues Canadian seniors face and work on measure to ensure our seniors enjoy the quality of life they deserve.