CARP’S QUESTIONNAIRE TO PARTY LEADERS

CARP is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to advocating for a New Vision of Aging for Canada which means social change that will bring financial security, equitable access to health care and freedom from discrimination; ensuring that the marketplace serves the needs and expectations of our generation and providing value-added benefits, products and services to members; and building a sense of community and shared values among our members in support of CARP’s mission.

Lending Family Caregivers a Hand – Canadians want to age at home It is estimated that there are 5 million Canadians caring for loved ones at home. A disproportionate number of these people are women and visible minorities. The current system of financial supports for Family Caregivers is inadequate and falls far behind what is available in other developed countries.

Canadians recognize the need to support families with young children and similarly expect the same value to be placed on caring for loved ones later in life.

CARP recommends that there be a Universal Family Caregiver Benefit to support the Family Caregiver and to allow people to stay in their homes as they age. The benefit should mirror the Universal Child Care Benefit currently provided to Canadian families with youngsters.

Will your party commit to introducing a Universal Family Caregiver Benefit that mirrors the Universal Child Care Benefit?

Ensuring Retirement Security for Canadians – Canadians do not want to outlive their money

Adequate Income Supports

40% of Canadian seniors live on $20,000 or less per year. They depend on the Old Age Security [OAS] and Guaranteed Income Supplement [GIS] plus their Canada pension Plan [CPP] benefits– which are modest because their pre-retirement income was low. There are an estimated 260,000 seniors living in poverty today and 1.4 million seniors living on fixed income. The most recent increase to OAS amounted to $3.52 per month.

Will your party commit to substantially increasing the annual adjustments to OAS, CPP and GIS and state what other steps you will take to help low and fixed income seniors?

Helping Canadians Save for Retirement

One in three Canadians have no access to retirement savings or workplace pension plans. CARP has recommended the adoption of a supplementary Universal Pension Plan based on the Canadian Pension Plan architecture that would provide all Canadians with a cost-effective, transparent, fair and portable saving mechanism.

Will your party commit to introducing a Universal Pension Plan?

Mandatory Retirement is Age Discrimination

Telling someone they must stop working at age 65 is the embodiment of age discrimination. The Canadian Human Rights Act continues to allow mandatory retirement for 10% of the working population or 840,000 Canadians serving in sectors such as transportation, telecommunications, the postal service and the armed forces.

The antiquated justifications for mandatory retirement have long since been abandoned and would have little resonance for people today who are living longer, healthier lives and expect to contribute to the economic and social fabric for decades to come.

The time for political debate has passed – all provincial jurisdictions have abandoned it, as has the federal civil service. All that is required now is an amendment to remove section 15[1][c] of the Act.

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