Don't allow improvements to be derailed, finance ministers warned
EDMONTON, June 13 /CNW/ - Canada's finance ministers are being urged to ignore the opinions they are hearing from their Alberta counterpart, Ted Morton.
In an open letter in today's Guardian newspaper in Charlottetown, P.E.I., where finance ministers are meeting to discuss Canada's pension crisis, the Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) says that Morton does not speak for the majority of Albertans.
In the letter, AFL President Gil McGowan says that Morton will probably tell the other finance ministers that ordinary Albertans oppose reform to the nation's pension system.
"Don't believe him," McGowan says in the letter. "The truth is Albertans have less retirement security than many other Canadians. While only 38 per cent of workers in Canada are covered by workplace pension plans, that number is only 33 per cent in Alberta. Individual Albertans also have smaller nest eggs as a proportion of their incomes than most other Canadians. As a result, if there is any province where working people would benefit most from CPP expansion, it's Alberta."
Morton is out of step with the vast majority of Albertans and Canadians with his anti-CPP rhetoric. His views are not even shared by his own caucus. Only six months ago, his predecessor, former Alberta Finance Minister Iris Evans, acknowledged that there is a serious problem with pensions and said government has an important role to play in addressing that problem. She even said that all ideas should be considered - including CPP expansion.
"Don't allow Alberta's finance minister to derail pension reform for all Canadians," McGowan says in the letter. "Please support reform that focuses on expansion of Canada's most efficient, economical and portable pension vehicle - the CPP."
SOURCE Alberta Federation of Labour
For further information: For further information: Media contact: Gil McGowan, President, Alberta Federation of Labour, 780-218-9888