Questioning the candidates of the Victoria riding: Jo-Ann Roberts – Green Party

Find out where parties stand on seniors and strengthening Canada's infrastructure.

  • Oct. 9, 2015 11:00 a.m.

What would your party do to ensure Canada’s seniors are able to live comfortably in their retirement?

Seniors, like many Canadians, have long suffered from an ineffective piecemeal approach to their needs. The first initiative the Green Party will take is to develop a National Seniors Strategy, in consultation with the provinces, territories and other partners — including seniors.

This comprehensive strategy includes a basic income that supplements pensions and will ensure that no Canadian lives in poverty. It includes a National Housing Plan with affordable and predictable home care support that will make it easier for the elderly to “Age in Place” by living in their own homes safely for as long as possible. It includes an expansion of the Canada Pension Plan allowing for increases to the maximum CPP benefit. But most importantly, we have the plan to put in place a national pharmacare program to provide access for Canadians to a universal prescription drug plan that will ensure all seniors can afford their prescriptions.

Like the rest of the Green Party platform, Green Party MPs will work with others to make it a priority in the next Parliament.

How would your party address the need to strengthen Canada’s infrastructure and what project would you say is the highest priority for your riding?

Canada is suffering from a massive infrastructure deficit that has accumulated through years of poor policies and the downloading of federal funding responsibilities to provinces and municipalities. The first thing the Green Party will do is to change the requirement for one-third/one-third/one-third funding that currently hobbles the financing and implementation of infrastructure projects in Canada. We need to get the infrastructure funds where they are needed — into the hands of provinces and municipalities.

To do so, the Green Party will advocate for setting aside one full percentage point of existing GST to be dedicated to urgently needed municipal infrastructure. This will generate roughly $6.5 billion annually that would be made available for municipalities.

There are two high priority projects that are paramount for Victoria: keeping the federal funding alive for the Wastewater and Sewage Treatment Project, and the $17 million overdue upgrade to the Belleville Ferry Terminal, which would boost tourism to our beautiful city.