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TRURO, NS - The president of CUPE Nova Scotia, Danny Cavanagh, is applauding Finance Minister Graham Steele and the premier’s criticism of Alberta’s stance on reform of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).

Cavanagh says, “It is great to see our province taking a strong stand on this issue because Canadians across the country have said in poll after poll that we need to fix our country’s retirement security system.

“This really isn’t about politics as much as it’s about people getting a decent retirement income from a system that works really well but needs to be modernized and brought into the 21st century. If anyone is playing politics, it’s Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty who has flip-flopped on CPP reform because he doesn’t want to offend Stephen Harper’s base in Alberta,” he says. 

“The single most effective thing we can do to ensure retirement security for every Nova Scotian and Canadian is to improve the CPP. It is a plan that is universal and is fully portable across the country regardless of the number of employees a company has. It is jointly funded by employees and employers and has been deemed actuarially sound for the next 75 years. This is a Canadian success story that we need to build on,” says Cavanagh.

As of July 2010, there were just over 163,000 Nova Scotians receiving retirement benefits. On average their current CPP pension amounts to $477 monthly, which is lower than the average Canadian amount of $502 monthly.

Cavanagh says that if the replacement rate was increased to 50 per cent instead of the current 25 per cent - which is what CUPE and the Canadian Labour Congress have been pushing for - working people would over time be entitled to receive up to $1,868.33 monthly.

“Good for our finance minister and premier for standing up for working families,” says Cavanagh.

For more information, contact:

Danny Cavanagh    
President, CUPE Nova Scotia
Cell: (902) 957-0822

John McCracken
CUPE Communications Representative
Tel: (902) 455-4180