Trudeau announces a Seniors Strategy to CARP

Justin Trudeau’s Liberal campaign buses rolled into Toronto this week to hold a CARP town hall meeting and announce a number of senior-friendly election promises.

Held at the Zoomerplex in Liberty Village (home of CARP and its affiliate, ZoomerMedia), Trudeau was introduced by CARP president Moses Znaimer, who made allusion to the fact that now that Trudeau was in his mid-40s, the Liberal leader could qualify as a Zoomer.

Before making his announcement to a gathering of supporters and CARP members, Trudeau attacked Prime Minister Stephen Harper for focusing his efforts on spending cuts rather than supporting low-income seniors. And he accused NDP leader Tom Mulcair of making “foolish and irresponsible” promises while maintaining he’d balance the budget. “You can’t be Tommy Douglas on a Stephen Harper Budget,” he told supporters.

Trudeau’s Monday announcements were basically a reprisal of promises he’d made at the CARP annual general meeting he attended in Oct. 2014. He committed his party to:

  • Restoring the age of eligibility to receive Old Age Security to 65, rescinding a Conservative move which set 67 as the new age of eligibility
  • Boosting the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) for low-income, single seniors by 10 per cent (up to $920).
  • Installing a new Seniors Price Index to ensure that those benefits keep pace with rising costs
  • Working with the provincial leaders to enhance Canada Pension Plan to “make sure all Canadians can retire with dignity.”
  • Making it easier for working Canadians who must take time off to care for loved ones by extending the compassionate care leave
  • Investing in affordable housing for Canadians, with an emphasis on building new, affordable seniors’ residences.
  • Reiterating an earlier promise that his government would not cancel pension-income splitting, a popular program brought in by the Conservatives to reduce the tax-burden on older Canadians.

Afterward, Trudeau fielded questions from CARP members before turning it over to the national media.

CARP has extended all three parties an offer to have a town hall meeting with CARP members to introduce election promises that align with senior issues and to take questions from CARP members. Trudeau has so far been the only leader to avail himself of this opportunity.