NORTHERN VANCOUVER ISLAND, BC – Low-income seniors shouldn’t have to lose their homes and incomes if they can’t file their taxes on time.

This is according to North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney. According to a release from her office, Blaney tabled a bill on Thursday aimed at helping seniors who are unable to file their taxes on time.

The bill, C-449, will help Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) recipients avoid the temporary suspension of their benefits.

“Tens of thousands of seniors in Canada have their payments suspended in July every year for not submitting their taxes by the deadline,” Blaney wrote in the release.

“These are the people who rely on GIS payments to keep a roof over their head.”

Blaney added that there are external factors that may prevent seniors from getting their taxes done on time, such as health issues and other challenges.

“I’ve heard from people across this country who because of themselves or their spouse getting sick are unable to submit their taxes on time. When that happens their GIS payments are suspended, and people have lost their homes, cut their prescription pills in half to make them last longer, or gone hungry until they manage to get through the administrative process to have their payments reinstated,” added Blaney in the release.

Bill C-449 has two purposes:

  • to give GIS recipients a one-year grace period if they were unable to file their taxes on time.
  • to require Employment and Social Development Canada to reach out to affected seniors and assist them through the tax filing process.

This is an easy solution to a big problem and will go a long way in helping some of the people who need it most.”