Cloverdale-Langley City candidates debate seniors issues

The second seniors debate in Langley saw some sharp exchanges.

Three Cloverdale-Langley City candidates sparred over seniors issues at a mid-day debate Wednesday.

Conservative Dean Drysdale, NDP candidate Rebecca Smith, and Liberal John Aldag answered questions and took a few pot shots at the opposing parties in front of a crowd of more than 100.

The first question was over security of pensions.

Aldag highlighted the Conservative decision to push back the age for various retirement benefits to 67, while talking about the Liberal promise to raise the Guaranteed Income Supplement by 10 per cent.

“It really can make the difference between being below poverty and above poverty,” Aldag said.

Drysdale said Canadian pensions are secure, then talked about how other governments, like Greece, are having severe financial issues. He blamed that on governments that overspent.

“I’m glad to say that we’re not doing that in Canada,” Drysdale said.

Smith said it was a matter of priorities.

“We need to understand that it’s not an either/or, and it’s not a choice, it’s our moral obligation to our seniors,” she said.

On a question about a national housing strategy, both Liberal and NDP candidates were supportive, while the Conservative was not.

“I guess I’m a Conservative because I don’t believe all problems are best solved at the national level,” said Drysdale.

Different regions have different housing issues, he said.

Smith said housing was a fundamental right of all Canadians.

She added that the NDP was pushing for a national Pharmacare program so seniors wouldn’t have to choose between paying for their health or their homes.

Aldag took a shot at Conservative claims of fiscal responsibility.

“The Conservative government went on a real spending spree, but didn’t leave legacies behind,” Aldag said. He pointed to his own party’s promises of new funding for infrastructure across the country.

 

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