MONTREAL and TORONTO– Liberal Leader Bob Rae and Liberal Seniors and
Pensions critic Judy Sgro today urged the Harper Conservatives to come
clean about their plan to gut Canada’s public pension system.
“The Prime Minister’s attack on public pensions in his remarks at Davos
this week, coupled with past statements that his government may raise
the qualifying age for Old Age Security (OAS) from 65 to 67, make it
clear that this government is preparing to launch an assault on public
pensions,” said Mr. Rae. “Instead of bringing in the changes our
pension system needs to ensure sustainable prosperity, this government
is stripping benefits from seniors that they rely on and have earned.
This is completely unacceptable.”
Mr. Rae went on to say that it was passing strange that Mr. Harper
would have gone through an entire election campaign just a few months
ago without presenting his grand plan to cut pensions for seniors.
“He didn’t have to go to his Alpine perch to let us in on the news,”
continued Mr. Rae. “He should have told Canadians before the election.”
The tough prescription Mr. Harper is planning for OAS is simply not
necessary. At current trends, by the time the baby-boom retirement
wave peaks around 2031 the share of Canada’s GDP spent on OAS will
increase only 0.73 % over today’s level.
“Next week, as Parliament returns, the Harper Conservatives will try to
divert attention from their attack on public pensions and the OAS by
pushing Bill C-25, wholly inadequate legislation that introduces a
band-aid solution,” said Ms. Sgro. “A Registered Pooled Pension Plan
touches only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to pension reform.
What we need is a voluntary supplemental Canada Pension Plan, a
low-cost, high-return, universal option that Canadians can trust.”
As our population ages, it is vitally important that the federal
government focus its efforts on creating sustainable solutions for
seniors to remain financially secure in their retirement.
“While the Conservatives choose to take away benefits from seniors,
Liberals will continue to fight for balanced pension reforms that will
ensure that Canadians will have a secure pension in their retirement,”
concluded Ms. Sgro.
The Liberal Party has launched a petition asking the Harper
Conservatives to keep their hands off Canadians’ pensions. To view the
petition, please click here.