Letters

Canadians cannot live on government pensions

Dear editor,

On the TV I heard a Conservative Party of Canada MP's concern and call to improve pension benefits.

I've heard the sad tale of seniors living on a $1,400-a-month pension reportedly eating cat food for protein. It's a very sad and shameful way to treat the elderly, who paid for 50 years into those benefits. My heart goes out to them.

I am disabled in the great province of B.C. I get $906 a month, God help me.

I received only $162 dollars in provincial disability benefits in 2005 for over 33 years of taxpaying and the benefit is decreasing. I now in 2013 receive $149 per month as for every raise in my federal CPP the province deducts it dollar for dollar, keeping me at a combined disability income of $906 per month!

This is much deeper poverty than the poor elderly. Why?

I paid taxes in both federal and provincial coffers for more than 35 years before becoming disabled. Why would I not receive my full benefits from both?

I began receiving provincial disability benefits in 2006 of $906 per month. I applied for CPP and received a benefit of $746 per month that would have made the combined benefits above the poverty level.

However, the B.C. government deducts dollar for dollar the amount of my total federal benefits and every raise for cost of living given by the CPP, keeping me in perpetual poverty.

I had paid taxes for over 30 years in B.C. and would expect to receive the full benefits.

The combined benefits I am entitled to would today be $1,665 per month just happily above the poverty line.

Why would I not be entitled to the benefits I had paid for both federally and provincially? Why must I live in deep grinding poverty?

I have been driven to the edge of suicide living this way. Every time I get a fed raise and the Province takes it totally, I have to fight the terrible urge to take my life.

Suicide the only way out of this torture. What is the suicide rate among the disabled?

I worked. I paid my taxes. Why am I treated like a worthless beggar?

When I asked, I was told I got my full CPP technically and that the Province considers $906 all that a disabled person deserves. That If I got both benefits the minimum paid workers would be upset.

So am I just to go die somewhere?

A livable and dignified standard of life is guaranteed under our constitution. Is $906 a month livable and dignified?

I live approximately $1,000 per month below the poverty line in B.C. because the Province steals my CPP by 100 per cent.

Try it for a month let alone seven years, as things have gone up and up. My rent alone takes 80 per cent of my benefits.

The Province of B.C. has abandoned the disabled, pushing them onto federal benefits and reduces their B.C. benefits to nearly nothing ripping, off everyone who spent a lifetime paying taxes in B.C.

Today, the federal government gave us a miserly raise in our CPP disability to reflect the cost of living increases and again the Province of British Columbia reduced our provincial disability by the same amount.

This has happened over and over in the six years I have been disabled and on benefits. This is cruel treatment of the weakest citizens.

This treatment is unconstitutional to say the least and criminal neglect at the worst. Not all disabled are able to work at all and cannot access the earnable portion of the benefits and should be allowed the CPP benefits earned as well as provincial benefits.

How can the Province consider $906 a living wage?

Like Oliver ("Sir, may I have some more?), I beg you for more.

Disability benefits are not a hand out but the character of our country to care for the less fortunate enshrined in our constitution but disabled cannot take the government to court to have the Province forced to see that.

Rhetorical now but I considered it; I had the RCMP come to my home to intimidate me for writing this to the premier and the prime minister. One of the RCMP attending agreed that that was why they were there.

Where has free speech gone?

G.A. (Tony) McIntyre,

Courtenay

 

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