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OPEN LETTER: Canadian Coalition for Retirement Security writes to Morneau on Bill C-27

December 19, 2017

On December 1, Federal Retirees Director of Advocacy and Canadian Coalition for Retirement Security chair Sayward Montague wrote to Finance Minister Bill Morneau about Bill C-27.

Despite being presented with the opportunity to withdraw the legislation on November 1 by voting for the motion put forward by MP Scott Duvall (Hamilton Mountain), having received thousands of messages from Canadians asking this government to end this unfair attack on retirement security, and renewed media interest in the legislation, there has been no movement on Bill C-27 in Parliament for more than a year.

In the spirit of the holiday season, Federal Retirees are encouraging Canadians to write to the Finance Minister, asking him to grant our holiday wish – to finally withdraw Bill C-27.


Join our campaign and send your message now

Logo:  Honour Your Promise on Retirement Security.



December 1, 2017


The Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance
House of Commons
Ottawa ON K1A 0A6


Dear Minister Morneau,


I am writing to you today on behalf of the Canadian Coalition for Retirement Security (CCRS). We are a coalition of 21 organizations representing nearly 5 million members with a common goal of ensuring the protection of public and private sector employees’ and retirees’ accrued pensions and benefits.


On November 1, 2017, a motion was presented in Parliament that offered your government an opportunity to dismiss House Government Bill C-27, An Act to Amend the Pension Benefits Standards Act 1985, and to end a stressful year for Canadian retirees. Since October 2016, when you originally presented Bill C-27, employees and retirees have spoken out by the thousands and asked you to end this unfair attack on retirement security.


Finance Canada staff conducted consultations on Bill C-27 in May 2017 – more than six months after the legislation was first tabled in the House of Commons. The consultations were neither public nor transparent, and to date, none of the organizations “consulted” have received feedback or been informed of next steps in this exercise.


In 2015, Prime Minister Trudeau was clear. He told the National Association of Federal Retirees that defined benefit pensions “which have already been paid for by employees and pensioners, should not be retroactively changed into [target benefit plans]” and that to do this is “unacceptable” and “wrong in principle”.  Bill C-27 would permit exactly that. The measures proposed by Bill C-27 will hurt the middle class – something that is contrary to the government’s stated priorities. The Canadian economy will benefit more by keeping this spending power in the pockets of the Canadians who have earned these pensions.


It is time for this government to withdraw Bill C-27 and ensure pension promises are honoured. To continue to leave the bill in its current state is an ongoing threat to the earned pensions and retirement security of hundreds of thousands of Canadians.


Pensions are deferred compensation, and workers have already provided their services in exchange for them. Bill C-27 allows employers to change pension agreements, even for those who are already retired. It’s wrong, and it’s unfair. A deal is a deal, and providing employers this legal loophole to back out of their commitments is shameful.


The withdrawal of Bill C-27 is long overdue. I hope that you and your government will honour the promises made to employees and pensioners. Retirees can’t afford to wait any longer.


Sincerely,


Sayward Montague
Chair, Canadian Coalition for Retirement Security
Director of Advocacy, National Association of Federal Retirees
Enclosure: List of Canadian Coalition for Retirement Security Member Organizations

cc:       Lynn Hemmings, Senior Chief, Financial Sector, Policy Branch, Department of Finance Canada
The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P., Prime Minister of Canada


List of Canadian Coalition for Retirement Security Member Organizations


  • Aboriginal Veterans Autochtones
  • Air Canada Pionairs
  • Armed Forces Pensioners’/Annuitants’ Association of Canada
  • Bell Pensioners’ Group
  • Canadian Association of Retired Teachers
  • Canadian Merchant Service Guild
  • Canadian Naval Air Group and Maritime Air Veterans Association
  • Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association
  • Canadian Federation of Pensioners
  • CBC Pensioners National Association
  • Congress of Union Retirees of Canada
  • Canadian Union of Postal Workers
  • Federation of Senior Citizens and Pensioners of Nova Scotia
  • National Association of Federal Retirees
  • National Organization of Retired Postal Workers
  • National Pensioners Federation
  • Newfoundland & Labrador Coalition of Pensioners, Retirees and Seniors Organizations
  • Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada
  • Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada Retired Members Guild
  • Public Service Alliance of Canada
  • RCMP Veterans’ Association