Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ruby Dhalla's Dead Horse Beaten Again

Ruby Dhalla's Private Member's bill to extend old age security benefits to immigrants who have been in Canada for as little as 3 years was never going to go anywhere. Now even the Brampton Guardian says it's time for Dhalla to give up on the idea:

Last June, Brampton-Springdale MP Ruby Dhalla introduced a Private Member’s Bill to amend the benefits act so immigrant seniors can qualify to receive old age security benefits after three years instead of 10 years. . .

The bill has raised a storm of controversy, and rightfully so.

Now is not the right time to toy with this issue. The economy is stressed and government coffers are also strained.

Besides, the Private Member’s Bill doesn’t have a chance in hell of passing as long has the Tories hold power.

Dhalla’s bill is nothing more than grandstanding and an attempt to win votes from her constituents. If Dhalla and the Liberals are serious about pension and benefit fairness, put the issue in their platform and run on it in the next election.

Brampton is Dhalla's home turf and it has one of the largest concentrations of recent immigrants in the country. It's bad news for her if even this newspaper wants her to give up.

The Libersals have sensibly distanced themselves from this bill, and I can't see the proposal being included in the next platform. To me the proposal violates a basic sense of fairness, and I wonder, why would elderly immigrants even expect to receive a cheque every month from Canadian taxpayers if they haven't contributed anything at all to our economy?


Anonymous said...

does ruby have family she would like to get the money?

Frances said...

This bill has a hidden nasty. A low-income person who is eligible for OAS also becomes eligible for the GIS (guaranteed income supplement). If there is no other source of income for that person, then a low OAS is compensated for a large GIS. So these seniors would all be getting a lot more per month than the bill seems to say.

Patrick O'Neil said...

Thanks for pointing that out. Terrible. Good thing it'll never pass.