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This week, a coalition of 13 associations of retirees will hold its founding meeting. The Coalition citoyenne pour mieux vivre et vieillir (Citizen coalition for better living and aging) will adopt its statutes and elect an executive to legalize its status. Participants will provide an update on previous actions of the coalition and will lay the groundwork for those to come.

At a press conference on Monday, the main representatives of the coalition reported on its renewed efforts to ensure a decent retirement for all.

Regarding the file on improving public pension plans, they noted that 2016 will be a crucial year for the seniors of today and tomorrow. The federal government will organize, or follow, a broad consultation of the provinces on the public pension system, which the Liberals promised to improve during the recent election campaign.

“An initial meeting of Finance Ministers has already revealed the usual resistance of Minister Leitão of Quebec and some of his counterparts in other provinces. What they decided was not to decide anything and to take up the subject again in a year’s time,” said Jean Carette, spokesperson for the coalition.

“This means that we need to exert pressure with our arguments and our interventions to compel the federal government to step in and keep its promises and meet the minimum demands of all the seniors’ groups: first and foremost, improvement of the QPP to bring tens of thousands of seniors out of their present or foreseeable poverty,” he explained.

“The Trudeau team won’t move on this unless they see that public opinion is strong, united and resolute. Let’s not forget: a decent retirement is not a privilege. It is the immediate and future right of every person,” concluded Carette.

The founding meeting of the Coalition will be held on Friday, February 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the basement hall of the TUAC (UFCW) 500 building, at 1200 Crémazie Boulevard East, Montreal.

The C2V2 comprises 13 retiree associations and tens of thousands of retirees. Its “Manifesto for a Decent Retirement for All” is available online.

The coalition includes: the Association québécoise de défense des droits des personnes retraitées et préretraitées (AQDR); Espaces 50+; the Regroupement des syndicalistes à la retraite affilié au Conseil régional FTQ Montréal métropolitain; the Regroupement des syndicalistes à la retraite affilié au Conseil régional FTQ Laurentides-Lanaudière; the Retraités du 429 (City of Montreal white collars), the Regroupement des retraités cols bleus de la Ville de Montréal (City of Montreal blue collars); the Organisation des retraités du transport de Montréal (ORE-TM); the Association des retraités du transport en commun urbain de Montréal (ART-CUM); the Retraités du personnel syndiqué de Gaz Métro; the Association du personnel retraité de la Ville de Québec (APRVQ); and APRÈS L’UM (Université de Montréal retirees); as well as the Congress of Union Retirees of Canada (CURC-CTC) and the Fédération des syndicalistes à la retraite du Québec (FSR-FTQ-ASRC).