SHOWDOWN OVER CPP EXPECTED TO TAKE PLACE AT TODAY'S FINANCE MINISTERS' MEETING

Dec 16, 2013

By Jane Brown

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Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is hinting he may present his own proposal on pension reform when he meets with his provincial counterparts at Meech Lake in Quebec’s Gatineau Park today.  The meeting is shaping up as a showdown over whether to enrich the Canada Pension Plan to ensure the country’s next generations have adequate retirement income.  PEI’s Finance Minister Wes Sheridan and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne have been leading the charge to boost CPP contributions and benefits.  Premier Wynne met last week with key members of CARP, A new Vision of Aging, who are also promoting an enhanced CPP.  CARP’s VP of Advocacy Susan Eng says there is only one acceptable outcome to today’s meeting.  “The answer we want to hear and the only answer we will accept is their decision to actually increase the CPP,” Eng explained to ZoomerMedia News, “by how much and in which direction, and when, is something they are free to determine.”

The Finance Ministers and Premiers of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Manitoba and Quebec also appear to favour some kind of C-P-P enhancement measure.  Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa has suggested his province may move ahead on its own if there’s no progress in reaching an agreement with Ottawa.  Federal Finance Minister Flaherty has warned that with the economy still fragile, boosting premiums could do more harm than good.

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