Bill C-428 – Political Correctness Gone Mad?
The Hon. Diane Finley P.C.M.P., Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development recently wrote as a response to emails sent to the Office of the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Stephen Harper regarding private member’s Bill C-428. Bill C-428 proposes to amend the Old Age Security Act to reduce the residence requirement for entitlement to a monthly pension from ten years to three years. This private member’s bill was introduced in the House of Commons by M.P. Ruby Dhalla, Liberal Opposition Member.
This is a Bill which has angered an enormous segment of the Canadian tax-paying population.
Hon. Diane Finley is strongly opposed to this private member’s bill because of its costs and the essence of the Old Age Security (OAS) pension.
She stated in her email:
” 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 is 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. Given that the OAS program is funded entirely from general tax revenues this would be costly and place an additional burden on the Canadian taxpayer.”
Bill #C-428 was conjured up by Ruby Dhalla and seconded by Bob Rae and should not have seen the light of day. Yet it will receive second reading at the next sitting of parliament. Bill C-428 will allow recent immigrants to apply for OAS in three years instead of the existing ten years. One could only naturally suspect that Ruby Dhalla whose riding is in Brampton which has a large immigrant population was attempting to build up her own popularity among voters.
The problem with this private member’s bill is that thousands could come to Canada when they are 62 years of age, never having worked or contributed to this country’s tax system and qualify for full Old Age Security benefits. An additional problem is that our youth of today may not even have a government pension when they retire. Canadian citizens who have contributed to the Canadian tax system should look after our own senior citizens and vets before throwing their hard earned money at people who have never contributed to the economy. A family who wishes to bring their relatives to Canada should be willing to support their elderly relatives and not expect the Canadian taxpayer to foot the bill. Canadian citizens see this as an abuse of Canadian generosity.
This Bill has angered many Canadian citizens. It is a well known fact that many of these new immigrants manage to live off the radar, surviving and profiting off Canadian tax dollars. Most of Canadians are unaware that this is the second time Ruby Dhalla will put forward the same motion. Some believe that Ruby Dhalla will be successful, that perhaps another MP will need her vote on something else, and it’ll be a trade.
The Canadian immigration system is a disaster (for lack of a better word); that all one needs to do to know that something is terribly wrong, is go to the arrivals gate at Pearson International airport. In our effort to fit into the framework of Political Correctness, the system has deteriorated. Rationality abandons us. On the other hand, one is forced to question, what’s the politically correct thing to do for the aging seniors and boomers when they retire? The issue is also our growing stupidity on how to be politically correct in this Age of Political Correctness.
Canadians need to pay attention now to looking after their own retirement funds. Less money into the tax base from more arrivals either not adopting regular employment or unable to find a job, means less money to support the ones who did work and pay into it. Not only this, the Canadian government recently increased the retirement age from 65 to 67 years of age.
It is an issue. Let’s hope that, if this bill passes, the change would largely apply to people already in Canada and presumably already paying their taxes. This group of people are sponsoring older family members under the family class for the latter’s immigration to Canada. The former, already in Canada, paying their taxes, will make the ten-year residency requirement, so no problem. The latter, the older family members, will not. Here’s the twist – the former are supposed to guarantee the latter’s financial well-being when they sponsor them as an immigrant. So in a sense, the former are trying to escape a part of their obligations and foist that part onto the rest of Canadian taxpayers. I say no, and in no racist manner. You can’t play smoke and mirrors with me.
Image courtesy of policy-exchange.ca/