Thursday November 18, 2021 | VANCOUVER ISLAND, BC
by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends
Today, following new information from Statistics Canada that the cost of essentials like food, housing and gasoline are rising, local NDP MPs Laurel Collins (Victoria) and Randall Garrison (Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke) are calling on the federal government to stop clawing back support from Canadians who need help.
On November 2, the NDP asked that the 80,000 low-income seniors who were cut off the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) for receiving pandemic supports (like CERB) continue to get the help they need. Here is the letter that was sent by NDP Employment and Workforce Development Critic Daniel Blaikie and NDP Seniors Critic Rachel Blaney:
Low-income families losing Canada Child Benefit:
Today, New Democrats are asking for urgent action to help the low-income families who have had the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) they count on taken away from them.
“There are so many families who rely on supports like the Canada Child Benefit to pay their rent and to put food on the table. How is it fair that these families are being punished for taking pandemic supports they qualified for?” said Collins. “We are urging the government to address this problem which is forcing so many families into desperate a situation.”
Media reports have confirmed that the government knew in May 2021 that low-income families would see the support they received from the CCB drop. And a large (and continuing) number of phone calls and inquiries by impacted Canadians are being received by the Canada Revenue Agency and Service Canada.
No action from government so far:
So far, the Liberal government hasn’t taken the necessary action to fix the problem. As for the GIS for seniors, the Seniors Minister did say (in an email to Island Social Trends – posted November 8, 2021) that people can ask for an assessment of their current income, as part of possibility reinstating the Guaranteed Income Supplement.
The House of Commons will begin its 44th Parliamentary session next week, on November 22.
Low-incomes & rising cost of living:
Thirty per cent of the families who are seeing the sharpest drop in their benefit have total incomes under $20,000 per year.
Today, Statistics Canada indicated that the cost of living is rising across the country – the price of gasoline rose a massive 41.7 per cent from last October.
Now, in BC particularly, the cost of many goods (including groceries) may go up even further, due to supply chain impacts resulting from the flood and landslide disaster of November 14 to 16. New Democrats are saying that this will make it even harder for Canadian families to afford the things they need.
Corporate vs individual:
“Throughout the pandemic the Liberal government happily handed out millions of dollars in subsidies to big corporations with no strings attached. When it comes to helping Canadian families, Justin Trudeau turns his back,” said Garrison. “The government needs to be there for people, now more than ever.”