NDP CONDEMNS MCGUINTY’S ABANDONMENT OF WORKERS’ PENSIONS: Government bears responsibility for pension shortfall and must provide the solution

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 9, 2009

NDP CONDEMNS MCGUINTY’S ABANDONMENT OF WORKERS’ PENSIONS: Government bears responsibility for pension shortfall and must provide the solution

WINDSOR, ON—Today, NDP Industry and Automotive Critic Brian Masse M.P. (Windsor West) condemned Premier Mcguinty’s comments that the province of Ontario would not live up to its commitments to worker pensions through the Ontario Pension Guarantee Fund.

“It is outrageous that McGuinty is abandoning autoworkers and their pensions when it is the Government of Ontario that let GM under fund its pension plan in the first place. Even their Finance Minister has admitted that the Ontario Pension Guarantee Fund has been mismanaged. So instead of acting to protect workers the Premier has decided to abandon them. This cannot be allowed to happen,” Masse declared.

Yesterday Premier McGuinty announced that the Provincial Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund (PPBGF) does not have enough money to cover any short fall in GM or Chrysler’s pension plans if either was to file for bankruptcy and that the province would not cover the difference. Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan stated that the PPBGF’s premiums charged to companies have been below what is adequate since its inception and that GM in particular was given an even lower contribution commitment level than what was needed. The reforms and recommendations for the PPBGF by pension expert Arthur Hayes that were detailed last fall have yet to be implemented by the Ontario government.

"The NDP has been calling for the creation of a Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund at the federal level for some time now. Still, this doesn't excuse McGuinty's government's mismanagement of Ontario's Fund. Ontarians needed to be able to count on this program to help them in the time of a crisis. Well, the crisis is here, and Ontario workers are being left high and dry," stated NDP Critic for Human Rights, Seniors and Pensions Wayne Marston (Hamilton East-Stoney Creek).

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