TORONTO, April 4 /CNW/ - CAW President Ken Lewenza is commending New
Democratic Party leader Jack Layton for his party's significant
commitments to retirement security for all Canadians, in response to
today's announcement that the NDP would strengthen pensions.
"A doubling of the Canada Pension Plan and Quebec Pension Plan is the
only practical and plausible way to ensure that working Canadians have
enough to retire on," said Lewenza. "The NDP has been extremely
supportive of initiatives to improve pensions and retirement security.
Unlike the Conservatives, the party has adopted a smart approach to
helping Canadians retire from their jobs and in the process create
opportunities for young people in the workforce."
Lewenza noted that support for expanding the CPP has now been expressed
by a broad range political parties, pension experts, and anti-poverty
activists. "By failing to commit to expanding the CPP, the
Conservatives are increasingly isolated. They are standing in the way
of an important and sensible measure that would benefit millions of
Over the last number of years, thousands of Canadians have seen their
workplace pensions disintegrate or be dramatically reduced when their
employers closed up shop due to bankruptcy. The NDP plan, which
includes amendments to the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA) as well
as the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA), would mean that
fewer pensioners would have to face this heartbreaking situation, said
Workers, pensioners and the long-term disabled should not be put at the
back of the line when their employers close down. "In the last five
years, the retirement security of Canadians has been devastated by the
crisis, by the stock market meltdown, and by the irresponsibility of
employers. The Harper government has not recognized that stronger
public pensions are the best solution to this crisis," said Lewenza.
The NDP's plan to provide a substantial increase to the Guaranteed
Income Supplement and an automatic enrolment in both the GIS and Old
Age Security is a good investment in the country's economic wellbeing
and would remove the threat of poverty - a threat with which far too
many of our seniors must cope, said Lewenza.
The CAW, with the Canadian Labour Congress, has been calling for a
doubling of the CPP, as well as an increase to the GIS and the creation
of a federal guaranteed pension insurance fund.
SOURCE Canadian Auto Workers
For further information:
CAW Membership Mobilization and Political Action Director Jenny Ahn (cell) 416-271-3489 or CAW Communications Shannon Devine (cell) 416-302-1699