Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses Canadians on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Thursday, April 16. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
The federal government has announced new funding support for seniors struggling financially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Seniors who qualify for OAS (Old Age Security) are eligible for a one-time, tax-free payment of $300, and another $200 for those eligible for GIS (Guaranteed Income Supplement).
This program will cost $2.5 billion and is designed to help seniors offset the costs of groceries and services during the pandemic.
It’s estimated that 6.7 million Canadians will benefit from this payment.
“From the very beginning we recognized that seniors are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 as a disease,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in his regular briefing Tuesday.
“Today, we’re announcing more help because we recognize that every week, seniors are [spending] out of pocket a little bit more.”
These measures do not require parliamentary approval, it’s been reported, and could begin to move in a matter of weeks.
The government is also announcing that it won’t suspend OAS and GIS payments to seniors who didn’t file their taxes on time.