Libby speaks out against seniors’ poverty

House of Commons
November 26, 2010

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP) :
Mr. Speaker, it is good to hear the CEO of the TD Bank, Ed Clark, say what the NDP has been saying for years: that Canada’s tax system is unfair. “The shape of the economic recovery will not leave Canadians equally well off”, he said.

Since the banks are the big beneficiaries of the Conservative’s tax cuts, Mr. Clark sure knows what he is talking about.

Is it not time that the Conservatives took the advice of their friends at the TD Bank and tackled this unfair tax system that is leaving too many people worse off?

Hon. Jim Flaherty (Minister of Finance, CPC) :
Mr. Speaker, I listen with interest to the remarks of various bankers from time to time. I listened to the advice, certainly the comments of the chief economist of the Toronto-Dominion Bank, who had this to say. He said, “…our economic performance was better than any other industrial nation”, which just goes to prove that sometimes the banks get it right.

I do not agree with the comment that was made about tax relief. We have removed over one million low income Canadians from the tax rolls, and I just do not understand why the NDP votes against it every time we reduce taxes for low income Canadians.

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP) :
Mr. Speaker, they cannot escape the reality that seniors poverty is rising again, so what does the government do? It tried to sneak in a change that will hurt seniors, and hearing the minister today, putting this mean policy on hold just does not cut it.

The fact is that the Conservatives are wasting billions on useless corporate tax cuts, single-sourced jet fighter contracts and fake lakes.

Why doesn’t it change its priorities and raise the Guaranteed Income Supplement to guarantee that no Canadian senior lives in poverty? That’s the priority.