Country's largest unions back NDP pledge to 'protect' seniors
TORONTO—NDP leader, Thomas Mulcair, has pledged an NDP government will ensure all Canadians have enough money to be able to retire with dignity.
In Toronto for the announcement Sept. 3, the party leader said he would convene a meeting of Canada’s premiers within six months of being elected to schedule an expansion of the Canada Pension Plan, as well as reverse the Conservative government’s plan to raise the Old Age Security pension to 67 from 65. The move is part of the NDP’s plan to protect seniors and retirement security.
The pledge stands in contract to Conservative efforts to block the expansion of CPP, which arose most recently in Ontario after the Wynne Government announced plans to establish the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan.
Canada’s largest private union welcomed the news, and urged all parties and provinces to get behind the idea.
“Dignity in retirement begins with a secure and sufficient pension,” Unifor national president, Jerry Dias, said.
“Unifor has consistently supported expanding the CPP to help more Canadians achieve that goal, and is glad to see the NDP do the same,” he added.
Unifor said voluntary plans don’t assist those who need help the most, and only a universal, mandatory pension plan “can ensure a decent retirement income for Canadians.”
CUPE, Canada’s largest union, also endorsed the NDP pledge.
“Pension experts, provincial and territorial leaders, and according to many polls, the vast majority of Canadians believe this is the best way to keep seniors out of poverty,” Paul Moist, CUPE’s national president, said.
Meanwhile, critics of CPP expansion argue it would harm Canadians’ ability to accumulate private savings.