Canada’s largest union is urging the government to abandon its plans to cut Canada Pension Plan benefits.
“For women, for the disabled, for low income earners, the cuts are devastating,” said Judy Darcy, National President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. “The only Canadians who will be better off in their old age as a result of these changes are Bay Street brokers.”
Like most groups concerned about pensions, CUPE has been denied an opportunity to speak before the Commons committee reviewing Bill C-2. So it is joining with the Council of Canadians and seniors groups in presenting the committee at its hearings on Tuesday with more than one half million petitions opposing Bill C-2.
“The government has tried to scare us and confuse us into accepting dramatic cutbacks to pension benefits, but these petitions are evidence that Canadians value the CPP and want to protect it,” said Darcy.
In its brief prepared for the committee, CUPE argues that a crisis has been manufactured to divert attention from the shoddy case for reform and the dramatic and unnecessary changes to the CPP which the government has put forward.
“The changes are based on ideology, not necessity,” said Darcy. “If the government really cared about our elderly, it would improve CPP benefits. And if it cared about the burden on today’s young people, it would tackle the problem of jobless youth.”
CUPE represents more than 460,000 Canadian women and men working in the municipal, health, education, social services, utilities and transportation sectors. At its National Convention in October, more than 2,000 delegates adopted a strongly worded resolution condemning the proposed changes to the CPP.