Letter to the Editor – Elaine MacDonald On Harper Canada Pension Jacking – February 1, 2012

To the Editor, re Threats to Old Age Security

The Harper government is crying poor on pensions for seniors while it lavishes 13 billion in tax cuts for big corporations that don’t need the money. What’s wrong with this picture? They can’t afford to staff the EI phone lines so workers can access benefits for which they’ve paid, they can’t afford to maintain meat inspection levels that were instituted after the listeriosis outbreak, they can’t afford the non-taxation of veterans’ disability benefit, they can’t afford to let the ecoENERGY Retrofit program run its course till March, even though less than half of the budgeted funds have been allocated, and they can’t even think about a national childcare, homecare or pharmacare program.

But on January 1, 2012, the corporate tax rate was cut to 15%, right on schedule. It’s hard for a government to cry poor when they are shovelling money out the back door. It’s high time tax expenditures were reviewed like all other program spending. The conservative government of Canada is using the Eurozone crisis as an excuse to inaugurate a spiral of diminishing support for and investment in the programs that people count on. Canadians understand the need to economize and manage shared resources, but a tax cut program that is depleting the common treasury just looks like a cynical and opportunistic attempt to minimize government and shrink public services.

Harper’s plan for the OAS is a way to download cost and responsibility to lower levels of government which will have to pay out more to support seniors who are forced into poverty. Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement are inadequate now. The right way to deal with a looming retirement income crisis is to expand the Canada Pension Plan now to raise incomes for seniors in the future. Income supports for seniors need development, not diminishment.

Elaine MacDonald, president, Cornwall & District Labour Council

(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of this site, their staff, or sponsors.)

James Moak


  1. I really dislike coming on here to simply make a comment without offering a solution or different point of view. This is one of those times.

    Looking at the guest articles credentials leaves me to wonder the point of the article when so much is owed to taxpayers dollars by this group. The Executive of the Cornwall & District Labour Council reads like a who’s who for taxpayer funded careers. Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation, UA, ETFO, USW and others. If you would like to bite the hands that feed, I can make suggestions towards cuts that will leave money for deserving people mentioned in the article.

    Many of these deserving people do not have the pensions of these organizations by the way.

  2. Oh now, Elaine. Harper was elected fair and square as our dear leader. His priorities were well known long before the voters handed him majority (absolute) rule over our fair land. Canadians voted for bigger prisons and more prisoners, a bigger military and $30 billion worth of fighter jets, the lowest tax rates in the western world for corporations, and on and on. True, he didn’t say that seniors surviving on CPP and OAS would have to make sacrifices to finance his dream, but surely the smart Canadian voters would have known that. We’re getting exactly what we voted for, and we’re gonna get a lot more.

Leave a Reply