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Liberals promise to hike seniors’ supplementary pensions if elected

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is joined by Liberal candidate for Surrey-SouthÑWhite Rock, Gordie Hogg for a campaign stop in Surrey, B.C., on Wednesday, Aug 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is courting the votes of Canada’s oldest citizens – those most likely to actually cast a ballot – with a promise to increase federal aid to lower-income seniors.

At a campaign stop in Quebec City on Thursday, he promised a re-elected Liberal government would hike the guaranteed income supplement by $500 for individuals and $750 for senior couples.

The Liberals say this would help 2.2 million seniors.

Read more: Canada election: Complete list of affordability-related promises made during the 2021 campaign

 

“After a lifetime of hard work, you shouldn’t have to worry about how to pay the rent or fill a prescription,” Trudeau said Thursday during a news conference where he was also grilled about Canada’s military mission at the Kabul airport coming to an end.

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In last spring’s budget the Liberals made good on a 2019 campaign promise to hike the Old Age Pension by 10 per cent for seniors over the age of 75, but that doesn’t kick in until next year.

A one-time payment of $500 was sent earlier this month to seniors over 75 who qualify for the pension.

Trudeau said the Liberals are offering “real ambitious leadership” and a plan to “rebuild an even stronger Canada.”

Read more: How did seniors get cut off from Canada’s pandemic supports? Internal document sheds light

 

Seniors are always a critical constituency in an election because they turn out to vote in higher numbers.

In 2019, Elections Canada reported that overall turnout was 67 per cent, but 69 per cent of Canadians over the age of 75 voted, and 79 per cent of those between 65 and 74.

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