Charlie Angus says the Conservative government is choosing to spend billions on prisons while seniors across northern Canada are falling through the cracks. This morning in the House, Angus challenged Ted Menzies, Parliamentary Secretary to explain why the government has announced a program that will invest up to $10-billion in prisons while more and more seniors are falling into poverty.
“This government attempts to portray themselves as prudent at a time when they are blowing $17 billion on stealth fighters and $1 billion-plus mostly on pork barrel projects in the industry minister's riding. They are now choosing to build prisons when I have seniors in Englehart, Matachewan and Kirkland Lake who cannot afford to heat their homes.”
Angus challenged Menzies on the wasteful spending on prisons at a time when crime rates are falling.
“The government has a plan to spend up to $10 billion on prisons. It has just announced it will spend $155-million to build 576 cells. That is $270,000 per prison cell, not counting what it is going to spend on prison guards and housing them. It is $270,000 on prison cells when senior citizens in my riding have no place to go.”
Angus says the government’s priorities are all wrong. “There is no senior’s housing plan. No help for people to heat their homes. The increase in the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) won’t buy you a double double at Tim Hortons. Why is the government supporting the politics of fear and wasteful spending over working to help alleviate the situation for senior citizens in northern Canada?”
The New Democrats are pushing for a comprehensive national plan to ensure seniors don’t end up in poverty.