The federal member of parliament for Brampton-Springdale, Ruby Dhalla, is proposing in a private member’s bill that immigrants be eligible for Old Age Security after only being in the country for three years. Ms. Dhalla supports her proposal with a Conference Board of Canada report that six per cent of seniors in Canada continue to live in poverty despite the fact that more than 95 per cent of seniors in Canada collect Old Age Security. She states on her Web site that:
“As a Member of Parliament I consider it my responsibility to bring the concerns of these seniors forward in Parliament. It is for this reason I have brought forward Bill C428 [An Act to amend the Old Age Security Act (residency requirement)] to ensure that all seniors have the opportunity to age with dignity and respect.”
Let’s be clear: Bill C428 seeks to amend the Old Age Security Act’s residency requirement and nothing more. Instead of sponsoring a bill that might benefit all seniors in Canada who continue to live in poverty, Ms. Dhalla chooses to pander shamelessly to the immigrant community exclusively.
This is how the member for Brampton-Springdale fulfills her “responsibility to bring the concerns of these seniors forward in Parliament.” Let’s ignore seniors who have contributed to Canada for a decade or more; let them continue to live in poverty.
But let’s add to Canada’s generosity towards those who enter the country at or near retirement age, while conveniently forgetting that the federal immigration family sponsorship program (reunification program) clearly places the onus of financial support upon the family of the immigrant, not taxpayers. That is our system: the immigrant family is reunited and the rest of Canada’s taxpayers are not asked to supplement the incomes of unproductive immigrants.
As Raphael Alexander points out here:
“Let us not forget that these elderly immigrants already take up their fair share of the social security burden to which they have not contributed either, when it comes to hospitals and medical care. Patient waiting lists have increased in Ruby Dhalla’s riding, as well as scarcity of hospital beds, because of the associated health risks that come with sponsoring elderly people to Canada.”
With Bill C428, Ms. Dhalla has shown callous disregard for those less fortunate than herself who are unable to cast their vote in her favour as repayment for “selective” legislation. Michael Ignatieff must be very proud.
Return to Main page »
© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
All rights reserved.