IN THE HOUSE ~ Question Period ~ on investing on CPP

41st Parliament, 1st Session ~ Context : Question Period

    M. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NPD): Monsieur le Président, 72 000 emplois ont été perdus au cours du seul mois d'octobre. Le coût de la vie ne cesse d'augmenter et le taux d'endettement des familles atteint un niveau record. Comment voulez-vous que les familles épargnent pour leur retraite quand elles doivent payer leurs cartes de crédit et peinent à trouver du travail? Ce gouvernement a le culot de dire que son plan va faciliter la vie à des millions de Canadiens. Que fait ce gouvernement? Rien, sauf faciliter la vie de ses amis bien placés.

    Quand ce gouvernement va-t-il enfin couper dans le gras chez ses copains et présenter un véritable plan de relance de l'économie canadienne pour créer des emplois ici, au Canada?

    Hon. Ted Menzies (Minister of State (Finance), CPC): Mr. Speaker, I would remind that hon. member that we did come up with a real economic action plan but his party voted against that. We put forward a second economic action plan and those members voted against that too.

    Let us refer exactly to what the member's question was about. We are putting forward a pooled registered pension plan that would actually be available, accessible, economical for over 60% of the workforce in this country that does not have a workplace pension plan right now. I certainly hope those members are not going to vote against that.

    Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the reviews are in on the Prime Minister's failed pension scheme. The Conservative plan will not fix the problem with Canada's retirement system and, as the Toronto Star says, “It's hard to see how they can make that claim with a straight face”. A simple, gradual, affordable increase to the stable guaranteed Canada pension plan would help every Canadian retire with dignity. Instead of paying for tax cuts to friends of the Conservatives, the CPP is what Canadians should be investing in.

    When will the out-of-touch government stop playing retirement roulette and strengthen the one pension plan families can rely on: the CPP? It promised to strengthen it. Why does it not do so? Why does it not strengthen the CPP?

    Hon. Ted Menzies (Minister of State (Finance), CPC): Mr. Speaker, we actually have been working with the provinces to develop a plan that works for both the provincially-regulated and federally-regulated. Let me read a quote from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. It stated:

A new voluntary, low-cost and administratively simple retirement savings mechanism will allow more employers, employees, and the self-employed to participate in a pension plan.


—PRPPs have the potential to expand the retirement savings options for thousands of Canadian small businesses and their employees.

    That is a quote worth listening to.