The Canadian Federation of Pensioners recently had the opportunity to present at one of Ontario’s Pre Budget consultations for 2017. The Government of Ontario provides these opportunities annually and the CFP usually gets an invitation to attend.
One of our board members, Bill Jones, attended one of the local sessions in Toronto and provided the following comments.
- Approximately 60 speakers were in attendance and each presenter received 3 minutes max to present.
- The session was scheduled for 2 hours, started 30 min late, still going at 2.5 hours, when BilI had to leave
- The list of Ministers attending included:
- Charles Sousa, Finance (Mississauga South)
- Eleanor McMahon, Tourism, Culture & Sport (Burlington)
- Harinder Takher, former Government Services (Mississauga—Erindale)
- Dipika Damerla, Seniors Affairs (Mississauga East—Cooksville)
- Minster Sousa was able to stay for the whole session.
- Only a few presenters got comments or questions from the panel (mostly known constituents being complimented)
- The only other relevant pension submission was from OPTrust, who wanted more pension plan options, to encourage greater pension coverage
- Minister Sousa provided encouraging feedback to our inputs to the Budget. and mentioned Nortel, including that other windup options were tried but were “hard” (speaking to our submission comments)
- Minster Sousa stated that he is looking to the Solvency Funding Review to deal with our issues and made note of the fact that the CFP provided a submission to the Funding Review Panel.
CFP believes that it is always useful to provide input in a variety of forums on the issues facing pensioners with pension plans. Budget forums are an excellent opportunity to do so.