The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the many gaps that exist in Canada’s social security, emergency response, healthcare, and supports for small businesses in times of crisis. Over the course of the pandemic, I have heard countless stories of how individuals, businesses, non-profit organizations, and communities have struggled with the hardships of the pandemic, and how they have fallen through the cracks of the government’s patchwork responses.
By listening to the stories of constituents and organizations in Vancouver East, I have been advocating for better and more comprehensive pandemic supports for struggling individuals, families, and businesses. Going forward, I will continue to bring the voices and needs of the community to parliament so that no one is left behind.
As you know, seniors across Canada rely on the GIS to supplement their income. As GIS is assessed on income, seniors who receive their benefit must file income taxes on time to avoid having their benefit cut-off. The GIS cut-off generally takes place in July for seniors who have not filed their income taxes.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline for filling taxes has been extended to June 1, 2020 for all Canadians. When the question of how this extension will pertain to seniors who receive GIS, I was informed that the ministry has committed to ensuring that no one’s GIS will be interrupted and that mechanisms to make that happen are being worked on.