Feb 17, 2016

By Jane Brown

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Both opposition leaders at Queen’s Park appear to be in favour of a move by the governing Liberals to put off implementation of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan by a year.

Finance Minister Charles Sousa told an Empire Club gathering yesterday, the government is giving Ontario employers more time to prepare.

“Ontario will start enrollment of the employers in January of 2017, and only start the first phase of contribution in January of 2018, one year later than originally planned,” Sousa explained.

He also explained that discussions are taking place with other provinces for an enhancement to the Canada Pension Plan.

Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown says we’re in a fragile economy, so this is not the time to put extra pressure on employers to increase pension contributions.

“The fact that you hear major employers expressing serious reservations, saying this would question whether they put investment in Ontario, the fact that you’ve seen almost every chamber of commerce in the province, from every corner of the province express reservations, should be a warning sign to the government that maybe this is not the time to be pushing this,” Brown said.

“I would urge the premier to take a leadership role nationwide,” said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, “and start dealing with the opportunity that the CPP has to bring that universality across not only the province, but across Canada.”

Under the ORPP, companies without a comparable workplace pension plan would be required to enroll their employees in the provincial plan. The employer and worker would make matching contributions.

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