By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on November 4, 2023.
UCP MLA for Lethbridge East Nathan Neudorf is the focus of accusations by the provincial NDP he is breaking ranks on his party’s plan to look at creating an Alberta Pension Plan.
The NDP released a statement Friday, complete with an email from Neudorf to a constituent, that said Neudorf blamed the pension idea on former premier Jason Kenney and that he believes Albertans don’t support it.
In a statement to The Herald about the email, which NDP leader Rachel Notley held a Friday press conference to discuss, the press secretary to the provincial Minister of Affordability and Utilities said “Following the release of an independent report on the potential creation of an Alberta Pension Plan, Alberta’s government is engaging with Albertans to gather feedback on their thoughts, suggestions and concerns about a provincial pension plan. Alberta’s government has been clear that we will not move forward with an Alberta Pension Plan unless Albertans approve it in a referendum. The Minister fully supports this process.”
The statement from Neudorf’s office adds “what we’ve heard so far, is that Albertans need a firm number on the asset transfer before they would be prepared to vote on this in a referendum. The federal government has agreed to providing their own actuarial analysis – once we receive this analysis we will determine our next steps. Once again, Albertans will make the final decision on whether to establish an Alberta Pension Plan.”
In the email to an individual whose’ name is redacted, Neudorf wrote “I would like to start by saying that the Alberta government is by no means trying to exit the CPP. Four years ago, Jason Kenney commissioned Lifeworks to create a report, exploring what an Alberta Pension Plan could look like. The purpose of this report was simply to inform Albertans on their true contributions to the CPP and ask what would you like us to do about?”
He added the purpose of doing research on an Alberta pension plan “is to inform us on ways to further benefit Alberta residence (sic). We are looking for ways to make the quality of life for Albertans that much better, whether they are retiring or retired.”
Neudorf suggests the person look at a website on the Alberta Pension Plan and if interested to be part of a telephone town hall that was held on Oct. 24.
In the email, he tells the person “I believe that Albertans are proud Canadians, incredibly generous, and caring. And, at this time, would likely choose not to proceed to a referendum.”
He concludes the email by stating “my job is to represent, and advocate for the best interest of, the Lethbridge East community. Whatever our position, it is your pensions, so it is your choices.”
The NDP says Neudorf is “privately admitting that Albertans don’t want the UCP’s scheme to gamble away their pensions.”
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