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A PETITION TO STOP THE PASSAGE OF BILL C-428 as proposed by Ruby Dhalla, Liberal This bill seeks to increase support to immigrant seniors and erase an inequality and discrimination that exists among seniors coming to Canada from certain countries, like China, the Caribbean, India, Africa and South America. Immigrant seniors from these countries have to wait 10 years for their old age security benefits versus three years for seniors from other countries. The bill being brought forward today in this House is the result of the hard work of thousands of seniors across this country and organizations like the Old Age Benefits Forum and the Chinese Canadian National Council, which have advocated in the interest of fairness and equality. This bill would help reduce the economic vulnerability that is faced by immigrant seniors and would ensure that all seniors, regardless of their country of origin, are treated as equals in Canada.�� This bill will change the eligibility time for seniors who immigrate into Canada from 10 years to 3 years for immigrants from China, the Carribeean, India, Afric, and South America. I totally oppose the above amendment which will broaden the eligibility to old age security for newly arrived immigrants from waiting for 10 years to waiting just 3 years. The justification or rationale for this bill is that all seniors are treated as equals in Canada. THEM vs. ME...THEY ARE NOT EQUAL I am an immigrant who has been in Canada for over 60 years. I have worked professionally for well over 4o years. I have contributed to our nation through taxes, through CPP payments, through UI payments for over 35 years. I have worked in the country and been a productive, contributing citizen, helping to further build and develop this country. I have spent money in every part of this country as I have traveled from ocean to ocean to learn and visit every region of Canada. I love this country and owe it a lot. I am grateful to be a citizen of Canada. Newly arrived immigrants, even after 3 years of being here, are not equal to me. They have come to this country just a short while ago. They likely have never held a job here. They likely have never contributed a dime in taxes, in CPP payments or to UI. So how are they equal to me. We are both human beings. Well, I am willing to treat them as such, gladly. But they are not equal to me as Canadians. We are both immigrants, but I have worked here, I have contributed to the financial aspect of the Canadian economy. I have worked here, paid taxes and more. So what that they are seniors and have not had the opportunity to do the same. Fate! I had good luck in coming here as a child. They did not. So, at the risk of sounding cruel, let them have their fate but not at my expense. I am NOT willing to support them sooner than I am legally bound now. They are NOT equal to me. Now do not go calling me a bigot or a racist. That would be simply hiding behind a convenient label to continue support for this Liberal sponsored bill. I invite families to sponsor their senior relatives and help them come to Canada. Life is wonderful here, and most likely, a lot better than the country they are coming from or why else would they be coming here. Look what they gain without the benefit of what this bill wishes to supplement: equal protection under Canadian law, same as me; benefit of our Canadian Court system, same as me; freedom of travel, same as me; freedom of assembly, same as me; freedom to work, same as me; freedom to live anywhere they wish in Canada, same as me; freedom of assembly, same as me; freedom of speech, same as me; freedom of religion, same as me; freedom to protest, same as me. They sure gain a lot by coming here but I object to paying them as equal senior citizens after just 3 years. The law for senior benefits is already there; it does not need a supplement. RUBY DHALLA has a vested interest. She has parents here from India and she wants money for them, Canadian tax money...YOUR MONEY and MINE for HER parents. She wants me to help support her parents. Should she not support her own parents Instead, she wants strangers to support them. Should she not support them in the way other sponsors support their relatives. I suppose INDIA does not give its seniors any financial benefit. Ahhh, how sad. But that should not mean that that shortcomings of the Indian government should be compensated for by our Canadian citizens' tax money. You and I should not have to pay for Dhalla's parents just because they have been here for three years. I oppose this bill in the strongest way possible and if it passes, I will fight the Liberals in every way I can in the next election. Canadian citizenship is special and the privileges and benefits it accords citizens should not be cheapened by a making the claim that there is inequality in Canada. RICHARD SZPIN a Canadian, a proud and loyal one


Richard Szpin, immigrant to Canada in 1948. Working contributor to the Canadian economy since 1956. Canadian citzen since 1958.
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