I receive several emails, calls, and visits to my office each week from constituents about a Liberal piece of Private Members legislation regarding changes to the Old Age Security program to allow new Canadians to access the program after 3 years of residency in Canada.
I want to tell you that as your Member of Parliament and voice in Ottawa, I strongly oppose this idea and so does our Conservative government. I personally am strongly opposed to this legislation and I can assure as long as there is a Conservative Majority Government in Ottawa, it will never see the light of day.
As a quick backgrounder for your information, Bill C-428 was eliminated before even coming for a vote in the previous Parliament (before the last federal election in 2011).
The Old Age Security (OAS) pension is paid to seniors in recognition of the contribution that they have made to Canadian society, the economy, and their community. The OAS program is non-contributory and is based solely on age and residence in Canada after the age of 18.
The ten-year residence rule is consistent with many other countries that have residence or contribution requirements associated with their national pensions to ensure that benefits are given in proportion to years of residence or affiliation with their pension programs. With this in mind, it is felt that the current ten-year residence requirement represents a balance between a reasonable contribution to Canadian society and the right to receive a lifelong pension.
It was estimated that reducing the ten-year eligibility requirement to three years would cost over $700 million annually in additional OAS and Guaranteed Income Supplement benefits. Clearly it would cost even more if we removed the three year requirement as Libby Davies, the Deputy Leader of the NDP, has advocated for the past decade.
Given that the OAS program is funded entirely from general tax revenues, this would be extremely costly and place an additional burden on the Canadian taxpayer.
I can assure you that with a Conservative government in Ottawa, and as your voice on Parliament Hill, I will continue to stop this bad Liberal and NDP idea and will speak up for your views.
Member of Parliament