By Lethbridge Herald on December 30, 2023.
AT THE LEGISLATURE
Shannon Phillips – NDP MLA for Lethbridge West
Hands off our CPP! That message has been delivered far and wide to the UCP government by Albertans worried about their retirement security.
The Alberta NDP Caucus has had nearly 40,000 people fill out our survey at http://www.AlbertasFuture.ca and more than 90 per cent have said they do not want to leave the Canada Pension Plan.
We’ve also held town halls attended by hundreds of Albertans while the government largely continues to hide behind pre-screened telephone “consultation” and other methods that don’t actually constitute real engagement.
At those town halls, Albertans have proudly stood and said they’re Canadian first, they support a national pension plan and they like the security CPP provides. It is, after all, a renowned pension plan by all measures and I have been so impressed with the level of dialogue and understanding of those I’ve talked to about the benefits CPP provides from coast to coast.
As one survey respondent wrote, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
I couldn’t agree more.
But, my friends, this fight is far from over.
The UCP Finance Minister attempted to assure Albertans before Christmas that he would pause work to leave CPP until further information from the federal government was provided, yet the UCP continues to advertise and promote a website designed entirely to garner favour for leaving CPP.
The website proclaims “What’s In It For You?” right on its entry page. The answer? Nothing except uncertainty after so many years of you working so hard for your pension.
It would appear the Finance Minister’s claim of a pause was a diversion tactic and nothing more. One thing is clear, however, we have this government on the ropes when it comes to this pension plot. Now is the time to fight harder, not let up.
The Alberta NDP stands with you in support of CPP and we will be ramping up our efforts to protect pensions come the new year. We recently announced a series of new town halls in January and February at http://www.AlbertasFuture.ca, including one right here in Lethbridge on Jan. 30 that will be co-hosted by Calgary-Mountain View MLA Kathleen Ganley and yours truly. There will be others too, in Medicine Hat, High River, Edmonton, Calgary, and elsewhere. We’re even planning to hold one in the Finance Minister’s own riding of Drumheller-Stettler — if he won’t listen to his own constituents, we will. Register now to attend these town halls so we can make sure we save you a seat.
We are also out pounding the pavement and providing literature with accurate information sources about pensions directly to people in their homes.
And we might just have to start a lawn sign campaign too… anything to get the message out.
Friends, we will do everything in our power to ensure the CPP is there for you.
At the end of the day, it’s your pension — it doesn’t belong to me, it doesn’t belong to Justin Trudeau and it certainly doesn’t belong to Danielle Smith. Let’s make 2024 the year we protected pensions for each and every Albertan.
Cheers and happy new year!