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NEWS: Major national policy move on expanding the CPP to be discussed in June

The Globe and Mail reports, “Canada’s finance ministers have announced a ‘way forward’ on expanding the Canada Pension Plan, but put off any decisions until June to make sure the economy survives a potentially rocky few months. …Positive comments from the (finance) ministers on Monday mean that a major national policy move that had largely disappeared from public debate is now very much on the agenda and could be approved by the end of 2013.”

“Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan, a leading advocate of enhancing CPP benefits, praised Monday’s development. …Quebec Finance Minister Nicolas Marceau predicted a deal would be in place to enhance the CPP by the end of 2013. …Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said officials will spend the next six months working on what a modest CPP increase would look like and proposing potential triggers or signs that the economy is strong enough. … Alberta Finance Minister Doug Horner, who represents a province that is seen as the most resistant to CPP changes, said he would wait and see what the proposals look like in June before taking a position.”

The article also notes, “CARP (the 400,000-member Canadian Association of Retired Persons) said it is good news that CPP reform is back on the agenda. (While) the Canadian Labour Congress called the meeting a failure because it did not produce a definitive action plan.”

The Council of Canadians
We support the call from the Canadian Labour Congress that CPP retirement pensions should be doubled over a 7-year period and that the Guaranteed Income Supplement of Old Age Security (OAS) pensions should be increased by 15 per cent so that no senior lives in poverty. And we oppose the Harper government’s budget implementation legislation, C-38, that will increase the eligibility age for OAS from 65 to 67.

For two recent campaign blogs, please see:
VIEW: Flaherty sabotaging doable pension benefit increases, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=18553
UPDATE: Council calls for increased pension benefits as finance ministers meet at Meech Lake, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=18541

In the 1990s, the Council of Canadians launched a massive three-year campaign against the Chretien government’s plan to ‘restructure’ of pensions in Canada – and won. For more on that historic campaign – which included a petition that drew half a million signatures – please go to http://canadians.org/blog/?p=13345 and http://canadians.org/archive/documents/public_pensions.pdf.

More on this to come.