Mrs. Lucie Pepin (Outremont):
Mr. Speaker, the throne speech pronounced on November 5 of this year contained a number of glowing and vague promises, but the likelihood of their ever being kept became more than uncertain when the Minister of Finance (Mr. Wilson) made his economic statement three days later.
Let me give an example. In the Speech from the Throne the following was said, and I quote:
My government is determined to ensure that social justice in Canada keeps pace with the changing needs and circumstances of our people.
In the economic statement, however, the Conservative Government announced that it would extend the allowance program to spouses between ages 60 and 64, but only to widows and widowers.
One may well ask why only widows and widowers. What about separated and single individuals who are in need?
If we look at the figures published by Statistics Canada in 1981, widows and widowers constitute only 4.7 per cent of the Canadian population, while people who are separated, divorced or single make up 36.9 per cent.
The Government will have to revise its position and take into consideration the groups it has overlooked. Apparently, the Conservative Government does not have all the facts.
Subtopic: SOCIAL SECURITY
Sub-subtopic: INQUIRY ON WHY PENSION MODIFICATION CONFINED TO WIDOWS AND WIDOWERS