September 13th, 2018

NDP caucus determined to fight for what Canadians need

Members of the NDP caucus emerged from a three-day retreat Thursday saying they were more determined than ever to fight hard for the change Canadians need to make life more affordable.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh made the following statement:

“Over the last few days our MPs have been talking about the people in their ridings who are inspiring them to fight hard in Parliament this fall. We are united in our determination to force change that will make a real difference in these peoples’ lives.

We heard about a mom in Red Sucker Lake First Nation raising two kids under five in a house without enough insulation and without an indoor bathroom. We are united in our determination to finally end the chronic federal underfunding that has left so many across our North living in third world conditions.

We heard about a couple who are both autoworkers. They’re raising two boys and are very fearful of what a new NAFTA and other trade deals are going to mean for their future. We are thinking of that family and all the others impacted by this uncertainty and Trump’s tariffs and we are committed to fighting for NAFTA and fair trade that doesn’t leave working people behind.

We heard about Pat, an 80-year old woman in Powell River who ended up homeless after battling a life-threatening illness. Her loved ones were doing everything they could to help with medication, food and other essentials, but what she really needed was a home she could afford on her limited pension.

We heard about another woman, Heather, who can no longer afford the small modest apartment that she shares with her disabled mother. They are desperately searching for housing and are deeply concerned that very soon they will end up on the street.

The NDP is determined to force the Liberals to finally move beyond empty promises to taking concrete steps to fix the housing crisis so that people like Pat, Heather and her mom can afford a home.

We heard about vulnerable seniors like Geraldine in Nanaimo who is struggling to make ends meet now that her Guaranteed Income Supplement has been slashed by $250 a month as a result of outdated legislation. She's being penalized for taking money out of her own RRSP to get by, even though her income last year was less than $11,000 -well below the poverty line.

The NDP will fight to win simple policy changes that will make a huge difference for low-income seniors so they can retire with dignity.

We heard about people like Jessie, a single mother in Abitibi—Témiscamingue, who for years has been fighting with the Canada Revenue Agency to receive tax benefits she is owed for her children. Since 2012, she has had to cope with an annual salary of less than $ 18,000 to support herself and her three children aged ten, eight and one.

There is no reason people shouldn’t be getting services and benefits they need and we will fight hard to make sure that happens.

We heard about a mother whose son is in the military, has PTSD and has been waiting for almost a year for his medical claim to be processed by Veteran’s Affairs. For whatever reason, the claim is languishing in the BC Veteran’s Affairs office. He is suicidal and says there are seven others like him in his unit. He feels abandoned and harassed and that they are trying to get rid of him before he can receive a pension.

When NDP MPs return to Parliament, we’ll be fighting to make sure that nobody is left waiting for services and benefits they need from Veterans Affairs.

These are just some of the many, many stories we heard about Canadians who need more from their government. Canadians need a government that doesn’t just steal ideas from the NDP for campaign promises, but puts concrete solutions in place that will make life more affordable for Canadians.”