Libby questions the Conservative government’s cuts to OAS and health care

House of Commons


March 27, 2012

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives said nothing to Canadians about their attack on OAS in the last election. In fact, the Prime Minister promised a steady as it goes approach.

Instead, the Conservatives are slashing retirement security for families and downloading billions to provinces. Seniors are going to have work years longer. That is not what the Prime Minister campaigned on.

Why are Conservatives targeting future seniors with their attack on OAS? Why did they not come clean about it with Canadians in the last election?

Ms. Kellie Leitch (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour, CPC):

Mr. Speaker, I am not going to speculate on the budget, as I said yesterday. Let us be very clear. We are trying to ensure that OAS is sustainable for the future and that future generations of Canadians have an opportunity to access OAS. Old age security will become unsustainable on its current path. Ignoring this actually puts future generations of Canadians at risk.  We are focused on ensuring we have a retirement income security system that works for Canadians, unlike the NDP.

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, they never once mentioned this in their campaign. Why not? They have not answered that.

OAS is not their only target. During the last campaign, the Prime Minister said, “We are planning on a six-per-cent ongoing increase for health transfers. We have been very consistent on this”.

However, after the election the Conservatives decided to break this promise and short-change provinces by $31 billion. This will hurt our health care services. Why are they breaking their promise and downloading billions of new costs onto the provinces?

Hon. Leona Aglukkaq (Minister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, CPC):

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to a universal publicly funded health care system. Again, unlike the previous Liberal government, which gutted health care transfers, we have actually increased funding to record levels. We have announced a long-term stable arrangement with the provinces and the territories that will see transfers reach historic levels of $40 billion by the end of the decade.