Mar 23, 2017
By Jane Brown
The Trudeau Liberals appear to be listening to the concerns of CARP members – 95 percent of whom vote in elections.
Two priority areas that have been the focus of active CARP campaigns have been addressed in Wednesday’s federal budget.
Help for caregivers is being offered with expanded tax credits and Employment Insurance benefits, and Ottawa is now budgeting the funds to meet a $3-billion, 5 year homecare funding pledge, extending that commitment to $6-billion over 10 years. These commitments directly address the needs of older Canadians who overwhelmingly say they want to die at home surrounded by loved ones and not in hospital.
CARP’s VP of Advocacy Wanda Morris says, “it’s deeply disappointing that the government failed to remove the mandatory withdrawal limits on RRIFs.”
Morris also says “CARP welcomes the discussion of the importance of reducing the cost of prescription drugs, but reserves judgment on how effective additional investments in the Patent Medicine Prices Review Board will be in achieving that objective.”
Meantime, Toronto’s mayor has issued a statement thanking Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for recognizing the need to invest in Toronto. John Tory says many of the funding commitments laid out in the federal budget will help City Council build a stronger and fairer Toronto.
An investment of $11.2 billion in federal funds for affordable housing has been pledged for the next decade.
As for transit, TTC Chair Josh Colle says he’s thrilled with the feds’ pledge of $20-billion over 11 years.