March 1st, 2022
After months of suffering, Liberals finally listen to NDP calls and fix crisis facing seniors
NANAIMO – Families on Vancouver Island are facing an unprecedented affordability crisis. Just last month, the average price of a single-family home in Nanaimo reached an historic high of over one million dollars, a 32 per cent increase from January 2021. This increase in cost in living has been incredibly difficult for seniors living with the lowest incomes. The Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) cuts by the federal government have made things even worse for these seniors. For almost six months, the NDP has been calling on the government to fix their mistake and restore help to some of the region’s seniors living with the lowest incomes. Last week, the Liberal government finally agreed to provide a one-time payment for seniors cut off the GIS in April with emergency funds available to those in dire financial circumstances as early as March.
"Seniors living with the lowest incomes in our community were already struggling to get by. When their GIS was taken away from them by the Liberal government, so many people were left without any way to pay for their food, housing and medication,” said local MP Lisa Marie Barron (Nanaimo-Ladysmith). “How could the Liberals abandon people in our communities and thousands more across the country when they need help more than ever before.”
The federal government had announced that they would provide an emergency payment to seniors cut off the GIS during the fiscal update last fall, but many Canadians were shocked and dismayed to learn the financial help wouldn't be available until May. New Democrats advocated tirelessly for more urgent help for more than 183,000 seniors that were left behind by the government's claw back and, this week, they got results. On February 8th, MP Barron underscored the local impacts that this claw back has had on local seniors and thanked the local organizations, like the Nanaimo Family Life Association, who have worked tirelessly to make sure seniors did not fall through the cracks during this crisis.
“It took the Liberal government six months but they finally listened to our pleas to fix the claw back that was devastating vulnerable seniors. I am deeply disappointed that they put seniors in this position and waited so long to provide a solution,” added Barron. “Alongside my colleagues, I will continue to advocate for Canadians in need and make sure everyone has the support they need to get by.”
Recently in Question Period, the minister responsible finally acknowledged that help is on the way in response to a question from the NDP.
To watch the video recording of MP Lisa Marie Barron calling on the government to support vulnerable seniors, click HERE.