CARP Participates in Federal Pre-Budget Consultations

Minister of Finance Bill Morneau speaks to media as he delivers a fiscal update during a news conference, in Ottawa, on Friday, Nov. 20, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld.

This spring will see the newly elected Liberal government release their highly anticipated first budget. As the government sets its financial priorities for the year ahead, it is turning to Canadians for advice on how to prioritize spending. The Liberals’ election victory was secured in part by CARP members responding to the party’s promises on issues affecting older Canadians, and CARP is calling for the government to keep these promises in the upcoming budget. To that end, CARP has submitted its recommendations for the upcoming budget, with special emphasis on reforming the CPP and ensuring comprehensive health care support.

CARP’s Recommendations to the Department of Finance

During the federal election campaign, CARP welcomed several Liberal platform promises that responded directly to our advocacy, most notably retirement security and health care. CARP’s pre-budget submission urges the government to make good on its promises by restoring the age of OAS eligibility to 65, increasing GIS for single, low-income seniors, establishing a Seniors’ Price Index, investing $3 billion in home care, and expanding compassionate care benefits for caregivers.

In addition to these election promises, CARP’s submission asks the government to increase OAS and GIS for the 600,000 seniors presently living in poverty, create a National Home Care Strategy to establish national standards of care and access, and develop a National Pharmacare Plan to ensure all Canadians can access affordable prescription medication.

CARP members have affirmed, time and time again, through regular polling and in voting for the new government, that CARP’s advocacy goals are important priorities. CARP calls on the federal government to recognize CARP members’ voices and ensure a brighter future for all Canadians.

Nova Scotia CARP Chapter Chair informs budget process

In early January, federal finance minister Bill Morneau traveled across Canada to discuss budget items with a wide range of stakeholders. CARP’s Nova Scotia chapter chair, Bill Van Gorder, was able to meet with Minister Morneau in Halifax, raising issues of CPP reform, support for caregivers, and expanded home care. CARP was the only non-governmental organization in attendance at Morneau’s meeting in Halifax, ensuring the concerns of older Canadians received Morneau’s undivided attention.

In addition to these cross-Canada consultations, the Department of Finance is offering Canadians the opportunity to contribute their thoughts through an online portal. Anyone is welcome to submit suggestions via an online form or via e-mail, Facebook, and a special Twitter hashtag.

To read CARP’s suggestions for the upcoming budget, click here.