November 1st, 2017

Morneau must withdraw pensions bill: NDP

OTTAWA – Today, the NDP will put forward a motion calling on the Liberals to withdraw pension Bill C-27. Unions and the NDP first raised the alarm on this bad bill, which fails to prioritize the interests of Canadian workers and retirees over wealthy corporate friends. In light of revelations regarding the Finance Minister’s financial involvement in his old company, Morneau Shepell, the NDP and the Ethics Commissioner have raised concerns regarding the bill.

“It is undeniable that if Bill C-27 were to become law, Morneau Shepell would significantly benefit in additional business and revenue. The Minister, in his role at Morneau Shepell, advocated for shifting the risk from employer to employee and then as Minister, presented Bill C-27 that does just that,” said NDP Ethics Critic Nathan Cullen. “By putting forward a motion to withdraw this bill, we are giving the Liberals the tools to do what’s right. The Minister of Finance can distance himself from this clear conflict of interest and the government will help the middle class by not going forward with this attack on workers’ pensions.”

During his tenure at Morneau Shepell, the Finance Minister lobbied for the increased use of targeted benefit plans, and the necessary legislative changes. Additionally, while he was at the helm, Morneau Shepell was instrumental in the design and testing of New Brunswick's Shared Risk Pension Plan, which shares many similarities with Bill C-27.

Bill C-27, tabled by the Finance Minister, would enable federally regulated businesses to create Target Benefit Pension Plans, and it would also make it possible for those employers to convert existing Defined Benefit Pension Plans into Target Benefit Plans. Target benefit plans are pension plans that lower the monetary liability for employers by shifting risk from employer to employees.

“This is a bad bill for workers and retirees. How can the Liberals continue to say they are working for the middle class when they have put forward a bill that has the sole intent to shift the risk of pension plans from the employer to the employee,” added NDP Pensions Critic, Scott Duvall. “That’s not working for the middle class, that’s working for the wealthy and well-connected. And the fact that the Prime Minister and his Minister of Finance are still considering going forward with this bill, which will have huge impacts on middle-class workers, proves that they are completely disconnected from the middle-class.”