Bill C-428: An Act to Amend OAS, NDP Response

Bill C 428

All Canadian citizens should be treated equally and have the same rights to all universal programs, such as health care, education and CPP/OAS. As citizens, they also have a right to vote. New Democrats have been urging the government to provide Old Age Security to all citizens.

However, Bill C-428 does not achieve this goal. It seeks to reduce the qualifying years from 10 to 3 years. Immigrants may apply to become a citizen after living in Canada for 3 years, but that does not mean they are citizens as yet. A few may not qualify if they have been absent from Canada for extensive period of time. So Bill C-428 is deeply flawed.

Nearly 20 per cent of immigrant seniors have an annual income below the low-income cut-off (the measure by which many organizations calculate poverty in Canada), according to the latest national census.

OAS is funded through income and provincial and federal taxes that are paid by all people. It is designed to be universally available.

Keywords: bill, immigration, seniors