Every school morning, thousands of teachers and education support workers across Canada head into the classroom, hoping to give kids the best education they can. But we also know there are many factors outside the control of the teachers that will affect the ability of those children to learn. Some kids may be too hungry to learn. Others are struggling with undiagnosed or improperly treated mental health problems. Still others have fallen far behind their colleagues before they ever arrived in the classroom.
New Democrats want to work with teachers to build a country where all of our children get the best possible start. That’s why we’ve proposed an affordable childcare plan that will help more children access the quality early learning programs that help to give children a headstart on learning. That’s why we want to tackle child poverty, boosting the National Child Benefit Supplement targeted to low income families, as well as the Working Income Tax Benefit. That’s why we’ll improve food security for Canadians with our comprehensive food strategy, Everybody Eats. And that’s why we want to work with the provinces and territories to improve diagnosis and treatment for mental health.
We also recognize that after a lifetime of giving their best to our children, former educators deserve a secure retirement. Too many Canadian seniors are facing a steep drop in their standard of living when they retire, and some are even being pushed into poverty. In the last election, Stephen Harper promised not to cut public pensions – then he turned around and raised the age of eligibility for Old Age Security to 67. This cynical move will result in even more seniors living in poverty.
A New Democratic government will restore the age of eligibility for Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement to 65. We’ll boost the GIS to raise low income seniors out of poverty. And we will work with the provinces and territories to expand Canada Pension Plan benefits, providing more Canadians with a secure and reliable retirement income.
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