Canadian Manufacturing

Liberals strike CPP expansion committee

The committee will look at what effect changes to the CPP could have on Canada's sluggish economic numbers


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OTTAWA—Opposition MPs are looking to get answers on a tentative deal to expand the Canada Pension Plan, including what effect it could have on the Liberal government’s plan to turn around sluggish economic numbers.

The Commons finance committee is scheduled to hold an emergency meeting Friday to talk about the tentative agreement the federal and provincial governments struck on changes to the CPP.

It’s unclear if Finance Minister Bill Morneau will testify and take questions from committee members; a spokeswoman for Morneau says they are following the committee’s deliberations closely and that the minister “looks forward to appearing in the near future.”

The changes finance ministers agreed to in principle in June would increase the benefits Canadians receive in retirement, increase how much income is eligible for CPP coverage, and also increase how much employees and employers pay in premiums to cover the changes.

Quebec has said it isn’t interested in signing on to the agreement while British Columbia is withholding its signature until the end of ongoing public consultations about the proposal—a signature that could make or break the deal.

Conservative finance critic Lisa Raitt says small businesses have told her they might delay investments in their companies or freeze wages to pay for the bump in premiums, which would have a negative effect on the government’s goal of creating jobs and economic growth.


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