One year ago today, Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled Bill C‑27 in the House of Commons, and today, amidst a stunning wave of revelations about the minister’s conflicts of interest, CUPE is reiterating its call for this bad legislation to be revoked.
“Not only would Bill C‑27 allow employers to break promises made to workers and retirees about their pensions,” said CUPE National President Mark Hancock. “We’ve learned this week that, since Minister Morneau never placed his assets in Morneau Shepell in a blind trust, he stood to personally benefit from selling out the retirement security of Canadian workers.”
Until recently, Morneau refused to divest himself of up to two million shares in his company, Morneau Shepell, which are valued at approximately $43 million. If passed, Bill C‑27 would create a wave of new business for Morneau Shepell, which sells and administers the target benefit plans that Bill C‑27 encourages.
“This fiasco has laid bare before Canadians’ eyes just what Bill C‑27 is all about: breaking promises and selling out retirement security for millions of Canadians to benefit a few Bay Street CEOs.”
CUPE is also raising questions about the government’s proposed Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB). The CIB would offer high interest rates on investments in major public works projects by firms led by Morneau’s Bay Street pension fund manager friends. During the 2015 election, the Liberals promised low-cost lending at about two per cent interest to municipalities to help build infrastructure. After Morneau became finance minister, the government abruptly changed course, and opted for a bank focused on expensive private lending at exorbitant rates of seven to nine per cent.