Editorial: Duffy should spend his free time seeing how other seniors live

Suspended senator claimed lack of medical benefits a hardship, but that's reality for many Canadians

Suspended Canadian senator Mike Duffy has garnered much media attention in 2013.

Media have detailed his fall from grace as a result of his allegedly false claims for maintaining a primary residence in Prince Edward Island when in fact his primary residence was within 100 kilometres of Parliament Hill.

From all appearances, Duffy displayed very little political acumen during his tenure in the Senate, other than playing the political game to his advantage.

The one piece of the entire debacle that received little attention was Duffy’s request or insistence that he continue to be eligible for medical benefits.

He claimed the loss of the medical benefits would be a financial hardship.

Duffy owns a home in Kanata, Ont. as well as in PEI and presumably has a pension from his previous career in the media.

Many Canadians have medical conditions, but most do not own two homes, nor have access to pension plans.

According to the National Advisory Council on Aging, close to seven per cent of Canadian seniors earn less than the low income cut off (LICO), which represents approximately 258,000 seniors.

In addition, another 19 per cent of seniors have after-tax income that is at or just slightly above the LICO, making them ineligible for additional help.

Perhaps Mr. Duffy could spend his extra free time over the next two years advocating on behalf of the impoverished seniors in Canada.

 

Not only could this benefit seniors living in poverty, it would allow Mr. Duffy the opportunity to see how his peers live and hopefully enjoy a few pieces of humble pie.

 

 

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