IN THE HOUSE ~ Federal Budget 2012 and OAS – Budget fédéral 2012 et la sécurité de la vieillesse

41st Parliament, 1st Session ~ Context : Question Period

    M. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NPD): Monsieur le Président, en qui concerne les soins de santé, les prisons et la Sécurité de la vieillesse, les conservateurs jettent leur responsabilité sur le dos des provinces. Ça signifie plus de coûts et moins de services pour les familles canadiennes. Un budget, c'est une question de choix. Au NPD, nous voulons que les personnes âgées vivent dans la dignité. Eux-autres, ils veulent couper dans les prestations de la vieillesse.

     Pourquoi ne pas mettre nos aînés avant les prisons et les F-35? Pourquoi pas nos aînés d'abord, dans le prochain budget fédéral?

    Hon. Jim Flaherty (Minister of Finance, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the official opposition seems to be suggestion today that somehow the transfers to the provinces have not kept pace. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Transfers to the provinces for health, education and social services have never been higher in the history of Canada.

    Federal support has reached historic levels, $60.9 billion, and will continue to grow every year through 2024.

    Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, what he is not saying is that those are under old agreements, and since May 2, the Conservatives have been working to push those transfers down.

    The reality is, Conservatives promised they would not attack retirement security and they are breaking their promise. Even Conservatives know that OAS is sustainable. The PBO says so. The government's own actuarial tables say so.

    Provinces will have to find more money for seniors in already stretched budgets.

    Canadians believe seniors should live in dignity, so why are the Conservatives cutting OAS? Why are they not listening to seniors who are phoning, writing and emailing the offices of MPs? Why did they hide this agenda from the Canadian public in the last election?

    The Speaker: The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour.

    Ms. Kellie Leitch (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I will not speculate on the budget, but our government started this debate on old age security in an effort to protect future generations of Canadians.

    Old age security will become unsustainable on its current course. Ignoring this problem is simply dangerous for young Canadians like myself.

    Our government is working to sustain OAS for Canadians today and for future generations. Canadians can be proud of our Canadian retirement system. We are living up to our promises.

    I ask the NDP members, why did they not actually vote for our increase in GIS or any of those other things that support seniors in this country?