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The Stelmach government says it’s opposed to expanding Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits for retirees, but a substantial majority of Albertans would back a CPP increase, according to a recent opinion survey carried out for the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

Some 66 per cent of Albertans would support federal and provincial governments implementing an increase in CPP benefits. Only 19 per cent would be opposed, while 15 per cent don’t know.

This widespread support for increasing CPP benefits sends a strong signal that Albertans want their government to be part of the solution to solve the pension and retirement income crisis faced by so many Canadians,” said CUPE National president Paul Moist.

All of us should have the right to a decent, secure income in retirement,” said Moist. “And augmenting the CPP is viewed by many experts as the most cost-effective, secure way to help Canadians save more for their retirement.”

With a few minor variations, the poll shows support for the CPP increase is consistent by region, employment status, gender and household income. Two-thirds of respondents who support Stelmach’s Conservative Party back an increase, as do a similar number of supporters of the Wildrose Alliance Party.

Earlier this summer, federal and provincial finance ministers agreed to consider a modest, phased-in and fully funded enhancement of CPP benefits. To date, Alberta has been the most vocal opponent of such a move. Changing the CPP will require the support of at least two-thirds of the provincial legislative assemblies representing not less than two-thirds of the population.

In addition to expanding the CPP, Moist says CUPE also endorses an increase in the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) to help lift hundreds of thousands of seniors out of poverty.

The Environics Research Group survey of 931 Alberta residents was fielded from August 12 to August 24. For a copy of the results, go to the electronic version of this release at cupe.ca.

As Canada’s largest union, CUPE represents more than 600,000 members across the country including 30,000 in Alberta.

For more information:

Stephen Howard
CUPE communications director
Tel: (613) 889-0517