Earlier today, I received yet another call from someone who had received a letter from a Conservative MP (this time the letter was from Brian Storseth, MP for Westlock – St. Paul) telling them that the Liberal Party is actively working to advance Bill C-428 (http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Parl=40&Ses=2&Mode=1&Pub=Bill&Doc=C-428_1&File=19). I understand that this same letter is being sent out by Conservative MPs in nearly every region of the country.
When I first started to get these calls, I chalked it up to a simple miscommunication however, as they continue, I am forced to conclude that the spreading of inaccurate and false information, by the Conservatives, is both deceptive and deliberate.
Permit me to be clear and unequivocal on the subject of Bill C-428. As the Liberal Caucus Critic for Pensions and Seniors, I will vote against this Bill and I will be urging my colleagues to do likewise. While I believe strongly in providing the appropriate assistance to new Canadians, I do not believe the OAS system is the best way to achieve this. The current 10-year qualifying period seeks to find a balance between an individual’s contribution to Canadian society and access to a publicly-funded societal benefit. Decreasing that qualifying period without first reviewing elements of law – including the legal provisions dealing with sponsorship agreements and various international reciprocal pension agreements – could undermine and negatively impact those systems. Moreover, unlike the Conservatives who are ready to spend billions on fake lakes and fighter jets, the Liberal Party’s policy decisions are always tested against our fundamental belief that the taxpayers deserves respect.
Moreover, in addition to my opposition stand to Bill C-428, the Leader of the Liberal Party has repeatedly stated his opposition to the measure (http://www.thespec.com/print/article/281189).
This is and has been the position of the Liberal Party and our Leader over several months (http://liberal.ca/newsroom/news-release/liberal-pension-critic-to-vote-against-bill-c-428) but, despite the clarity of this public stance, there are those who have sought to spread misinformation on the subject with the intention of gaining a partisan advantage. Even the Minister responsible is not above distorting the truth when it comes to these matters (http://www.simcoereformer.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2893049).
The only question that I have is: if Conservative MPs are prepared to spread false information on this topic, what else are they spreading false information on?