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John McCallum, MP

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Statement on Harper’s Refusal to Support Ontario Retirement Pension Plan

Posted on July 17, 2015

Stephen Harper’s refusal to work with Ontario by throwing up roadblocks to the new Ontario pension plan is a slap in the face to all Ontarians.   He’s putting partisan politics ahead of helping the middle class, but it’s what Canadians have come to expect from this government.

Premier Kathleen Wynne won a majority government last year, in no small part because Ontarians believed in her vision for strengthening retirement security through the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan.

After years of inaction by the Conservative Government, Ontario is doing something about retirement income, moving forward with their own solutions on pensions because the Harper government left the playing field.   Instead of supporting an increase to retirement incomes, the Harper Conservatives are doing everything they can to stop it.

The Conservative flip-flop regarding a voluntary increase to the CPP is an ineffective and cynical ploy to siphon votes from those who have a well-thought out plan to ensure Canadians have a dignified and secure retirement. It shows just how out of touch Mr. Harper and his Conservatives are with the middle class. A 2013 study by CARP showed that only 14% of seniors expect to be comfortable in retirement, down from 30% in 2009. Middle class Canadians are facing the prospect that a comfortable, secure retirement will be out of reach for them. This is simply unacceptable.

A Liberal Government under Justin Trudeau will work with the provinces, and develop a plan to fund a gradual enhancement of the CPP’s defined benefit plan.  There is absolutely no reason why the provinces should have to go it alone. Under a Liberal Government, they won’t have to.  As Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau would stop playing politics with Canadian’s retirements. He will work with the provinces and territories, with workers, and with employers to give Canadians the secure and dignified retirement that they deserve.

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