May. 9th, 2017

... defined benefit pension plans have gotta stay! Why, you ask?

Well, partly because the career decisions that today's pensioners made thirty or fifty or seventy years ago were made on the basis that they were entering employment that was at least SECURE, if not in many cases as well-paid as the work they might find by working for themselves or in another field. In the words of the National Association of Federal Retirees, the government should Honour its Promise.

Also, young (and maybe not-so-young) adults now entering a complex and more precarious workforce for the first time need to plan for their future - a future which, given current and forthcoming scientific and technical advances, may be a fair bit longer than ours! How are they going to gather the information they need to make their plans in the face of so much change and uncertainty? What kind of a future can we expect for our children, grandchildren and future generations?

On Friday, I attended a rally outside Trudeau's office in the Langevin Block organized by the Ottawa Committee for Pension Security. In the rain. PIPSC people handed out blue rain ponchos. PSAC people handed out orange rain ponchos. NAFR people handed out red placards bearing the "Honour your Promise" slogan. Various other people handed out buttons with "Stop Bill C-27". There were speakers from the aforementioned committee, from unions and from a couple of federally regulated corporations, including Canada Post. People chanted "Trudeau! Morneau! Bill C-27 has got to go!" I was impressed by the large turnout, despite the miserable weather. I saw a CBC cameraman, but sadly any coverage that might have been on the 6PM news was pre-empted by flood news. What did disappoint me was that no politicians, either from the government or opposition benches, came out to address us. Now that was a missed opportunity for sure, especially given that seniors are some of the most likely people to show up at the polls on election day. We are, after all, the student protesters of yesteryear. And baby boomers, whether they vote or not, make up a significant portion of the eligible electorate!

Do demonstrations like this make a difference these days? I guess we'll have to see.



October 2017


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