IN THE HOUSE ~ Question Period ~ Will the Conservatives raise OAS eligibility to 67 years, yes or no?

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

    Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development tried to justify spending $30 billion on jet fighter planes by saying that they are needed against foreign invasions. No foreign powers will invade us to scoop our pension system because there will not be much of it left if the Conservatives have their way.

     Now the Prime Minister refuses to come clean about his plans to cut Canadians' retirement income. He can come clean today and answer the question we have been asking all week. Will he raise OAS eligibility to 67 years, yes or no?

    Hon. Diane Finley (Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, CPC): Mr. Speaker, as we have said here many times, we want to ensure that the OAS system is viable in the long term. To do that, we are going to have to make some changes because of some change in demographics in our country but we are assuring Canadians completely that those seniors who are receiving OAS now will not lose a penny, those who are nearing retirement will not lose a penny but we are going to take care of them and future generations.

    M. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NPD): Monsieur le Président, cette année, les conservateurs ont donné 3 milliards de dollars en cadeaux d'impôt pour les grandes entreprises profitables. Qu'est-ce qu'on peut faire avec 3 milliards de dollars? On peut payer les prestations de la Sécurité de la vieillesse pour 462 000 citoyennes et citoyens. Ça fait du monde, ça!

    Il y a plein d'argent pour les cadeaux d'impôt pour les grandes entreprises. Mais est-ce que les aînés vont devoir attendre jusqu'à 67 ans pour toucher leur 540 $ par mois? Oui ou non?

    Hon. Diane Finley (Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the NDP says it wants to help seniors and yet it votes against every single thing we have done to help them.

    In spite of the NDP, we increased the age credit for seniors, not once but twice; we increased the GIS exemption, allowing poor seniors to keep more of the money that they earn and the NDP voted against that too. We brought in pension income splitting to help seniors keep more of their own money and the NDP voted against it. It should stop voting against seniors.