AFL calls on government to revive CPP proposal, as poll proves it's what
EDMONTON, Feb. 4 /CNW/ - With Ted Morton no longer in cabinet, it's time
for the Alberta government to listen to its own citizens on pension
reform and reverse its opposition to increasing Canada Pension Plan
A new poll shows that two out of three Albertans want the government to
work with other provinces to increasing CPP benefits and 77 per cent
believe CPP benefit increases should be the top priority for improving
retirement security for all Canadians.
"It is clear that the Alberta government is not doing what Albertans
want," says Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour
(AFL), which represents 140,000 workers. "Former Finance Minister
Morton led the opposition to increasing CPP benefits. He pressured
Canada's other finance ministers into opting for a private pooled
pension plan that will benefit banks and other finance industry
professionals more than it will help Canadians," he says.
"Now that Morton is no longer Finance Minister and is no longer in
cabinet, the Alberta government should revert to its earlier position,
where it recognized the need for pension reform and understood that
increasing CPP benefits could be part of the solution. Canada's finance
ministers meet again in June. It's not too late for real pension
reform. We must not miss this historic opportunity."
The poll was conducted by Environics Research Group for the Canadian
Union of Public Employees. It surveyed 1,012 Albertans between January
20 and January 31, with an error margin of +/- 3.1 per cent, 19 times
out of 20. It showed that only 32 per cent of Albertans agree with
their provincial government's opposition to increasing CPP benefits and
that 56 per cent believe the federal and provincial governments are
moving too slow in making changes to Canada's pension system. A total
of 59 per cent of Albertans with an opinion are against the decision to
delay CPP benefit increases in favour of the proposed private pooled
"The Alberta government has a real opportunity to listen to its people.
With Morton no longer pushing the cabinet to the extreme right, the
government can withdraw its opposition to increasing CPP benefits and
work with the rest of the country to improve retirement security for
all Canadians," says McGowan.
"It was Morton's ideological opposition to government involvement and
his unbending faith in the free market that led him to push for the
private-industry option. The economic collapse on 2008, led by the
poorly regulated global financial investment industry, has proved
beyond a shadow of a doubt that the market must not be allowed to
decide something as important as this."
SOURCE Alberta Federation of Labour
For further information:
Gil McGowan, President, Alberta Federation of Labour @ cell 780-218-9888 or office 780-483-3021
For more on the poll, go to www.cupe.ca. For more on pension reform, go to www.realpensionreform.org