Putting billionaire interests ahead of pensioners

The billionaire investor reaps the benefit but not the burden of the debt

Dear Editor,

Did you know in one last insult to Canadian pensioners, the NDP (including your Member of Parliament) and the Liberal government, voted down bill C-405?

What is Bill C-405, you may ask? It was a bill introduced by Conservative MP Erin O’Toole of Durham on November 28, 2018. It was brought forth in an effort to make substantial improvements to pension protection. This included the flexibility to transfer underfunded pension plans to another pension plan.

It was spurred by Sears employees losing a whopping 30 per cent of their pension due to that company going bankrupt, whilst their executives continued to reap millions in bonuses.

Something needed to be done to begin the process of protecting employee investments. Keep in mind, these employees lost their pensions after already sacrificing their dental and medical benefits.

In comparison to the NDP and Liberal decision, the U.K. and U.S. governments have the means in place to protect pensions. For example, the U.S.’ Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), covered the loss for each of their 90,000 Sears American pensioners.

Whilst this decision to not protect pensioners was happening in Canada, we also have the New Canada Infrastructure Bank and their loan guarantees. Most would fail to relate the two subjects, but I see a correlation.

These loan guarantees promise billionaire investors will suffer no shortfall for projects undertaken in Canada. If these projects fail, the Canadian taxpayer will guarantee the loan, thus eliminating all risk and accountability on the part of the investor.

The billionaire investor will solely reap the benefit but not the burden of the debt. These loan guarantees amount to putting billions of Canadian tax dollars at risk.

Ask yourself why the NDP and the Liberal government would protect billionaire investors in private business, but not average, hard-working Canadians in their golden years.

Manon Joice

Terrace, B.C.

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