Seniors’ Voice is a collaboration of organizations that have come together to celebrate the contribution of seniors to Canadian society on October 1, which the United Nations has designated as the International Day of Older Persons.
Seniors’ Voice promotes the concerns of seniors at all three levels of government.
Our ongoing focus is on health, pensions, housing and inequality. This year we are adding the issue of creating a Minister for Seniors. Canada’s federal government can take immediate steps to improve the lives of seniors in the following areas:
A – HOUSING
Make a national seniors’ housing strategy a component of the new national housing strategy.
Triple the budget for affordable housing geared to low-income seniors to $300 million a year.
Assure that part of new affordable housing units, announced in the 2016 federal budget, is allocated to seniors.
Partner with the provinces, territories, indigenous governments, municipalities and private sector to reach the goal of providing the purpose-built seniors housing goal for 18.5% over-75s as Quebec has now– in all of Canada within 10 years.
Develop comprehensive programs with, the provinces, territories, indigenous governments and municipalities to help seniors stay in their own homes.
B – HEALTH
1. Implement a National Health Care Strategy for Seniors as outlined in a “A Declaration concerning a National Health Care Strategy for Seniors” developed by those participating in the 2015 Vancouver Roundtable.
2. Implement in cooperation with the provinces a national pharmacare plan.
C – PENSIONS
1. Improve the Canada and Quebec Pension Plans.
2. Reject any move to change defined benefit plans into target benefit plans.
D – INEQUALITY
1. Pass legislation to limit corporations’ use of off-shore subsidiaries to shift profits and reduces taxes paid in Canada. This can be done by requiring economic substance for offshore subsidiaries to be considered separate entities for tax purposes and capping interest payments to offshore subsidiaries.
2. Close unfair and ineffective tax loopholes such as the stock option deduction
3. Institute a Robin Hood Tax, which is a tax of about 0.05%, on financial transactions.
4. Establish a mechanism for reporting on major foreign financial transactions.