NDP introduce Bill to protect pensions

by Morinville News Staff

Calling the UCP’s Bill 22 corrupt, NDP Labour Critic Christina Gray has introduced a bill the party says will undo the damage caused to Albertans’ public-sector pensions.

Called the Pension Protection Act, Bill 203 would reverse Bill 22’s changes to pension plan administration, management and governance for more than 400,000 Alberta workers’ pension plans. Those public-sector plans include the Local Authorities Pension Plan, Special Forces Pension Plan, Public Sector Pension Plan and Alberta Retired Teachers Fund.

The Bill would require pension holders have the right to consultation prior to any government changes affecting their pension plans.

Gray said 15,000 Albertans have signed a petition she launched to “tell Jason Kenney and the UCP to keep their hands off their pensions.”

Beyond the public-sector pensions, Gray’s legislation would make withdrawing Alberta from the Canadian Pension Plan illegal. The NDP says part of Premier Kenney’s secret Fair Deal Panel report was to explore Alberta’s withdrawal from the Canada Pension Plan, despite the plan earning record high returns this year.

Bill 203 will be referred to the Standing Committee on Private Bills and Private Members’ Public Bills, where members will consider if they want to hear from stakeholders.

Gray says so far, the committees UCP majority have not let opposition bills be debated in the legislature.

MLA Gray relaunched her website YourPensionIsYours.ca last week encouraging visitors to email concerns to committee members directly. Gray said almost 2,000 Albertans have already demanded the committee members debate this bill and more than 500 have requested to speak at the committee meeting as a stakeholder.

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