Delegates to the annual conference of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities took a stand May 29 in support of retirement security for all, backing labour’s call for an expanded public pension plan.
There was overwhelming support for the emergency resolution, which calls for the Guaranteed Income Supplement to rise by 15 per cent to help the poorest of the poorest Canadians seniors, and for a federal pension insurance plan.
Municipal leaders spoke passionately about the poverty they see seniors confronting in their communities, and the need to increase retirement income – particularly for women.
Toronto Mayor David Miller highlighted the “significant crisis” affecting seniors, and its impact on municipalities. He urged delegates to “stand up and speak out on behalf of seniors…..who deserve better.”
Miller championed the resolution at the FCM’s big city mayor’s caucus and on the conference floor.
Seniors are facing impossible decisions like whether to buy their medication or pay their rent, said Burnaby city councilor Sav Dhaliwal.
Hinton, Alberta Mayor Glenn Taylor likened the situation to the crossroads Canada faced before the introduction of Medicare. “The system we have is leaving too many seniors behind.”
City of London controller Gina Barber said she sees poverty on the rise among seniors in her community. The only way to reverse that trend, she said, is with “decent and secure retirement income”.
Learn more about CUPE’s pension campaign at cupe.ca/pensions