Clawback II

Continued from last week:

“Maybe I could accept it if it weren’t for some of the expenditures I hear about. Very recently, $3-million in support of the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) in Toronto and in support of Mr. Bill Clinton’s visit to speak at the CNE. CBC executives claimed $80,000 for meals, travel, and, entertainment. There were 65 MPs who lost their jobs or didn’t seek re-election who walked away with $52.5-million gold plated pensions and rich severance packages if they live to age 75. Garth Turner’s pension of $40,663, not bad for six years in the House, MP Bill Blaikie $122,224 pension, MP Tom Wappel $116,558 pension and MP Monte Solberg $167,015 in severance and $93,850 pension.

“It’s also ‘discouraging’ to see Canadian millionaire and former Prime Minister Paul Martin gets $167,051 pension. Is there a clawback or reduction in pensions for MPs, senators and supreme court judges? Absolutely not. Is there a reduction in pensions for the average Joe who can only dream about dollar figures I’ve mentioned? Definitely yes.

“And there’s been such huge payouts for people like Maher Ar­ar who was held captive in Syria, over $10-million.

“Sure I felt that he should be compensated but to the tune of $10-million? And there are two cases in the news now, there’s the woman in Kenya who was detained there because she couldn’t prove her identity and a man earlier who was detained in Africa. I can’t remember their names nor his country, but the lawyers back here in Canada are probably smacking their lips preparing litigation to sue Canadian taxpayers for their grief since the Arar case was precedent setting. It’s unbelievable where all the money is going. And we’re providing financial assistance to China of all places? That must stop.

“By 1999, the pension plans of federal public service workers (public service, RCMP, military) had an accumulated surplus of $30.2-billion. On Sept. 14, 1999, parliament passed the Public Sector Pension Investment Board Act (Bill C-78), which allowed the government to grab the $30.2-billion surplus.  The government violated its legal obligations to use the surplus in the best interest of federal public sector workers and retirees. The government’s actions constitute a breach of contract in that the pension fund is part of the terms and conditions of employment governing public sector workers.

“We paid into the fund with the understanding that the money will be held safely and re-distributed to retirees. We did not contribute so that the money can be diverted to the general coffers of the federal government.

“I wonder how much outcry would there be if a private company would take money from a pension fund to pay off the company’s debt?

“I realize this is a rather lengthy rebuttal but it is my hope that you and the Conservatives will re-think Bill C-201 and give us back some dignity in the form of our money. We’re all in the final years of our lives and it’s not as if we will be a debt on society forever. We are grateful for the CPP and Old Age Pension but I was thinking of claiming refugee status … I don’t even want to get into the financial blunders of the previous governing Liberals. How soon we forget.

“In closing, thank you again for your service to Canada. We do live in a great and prosperous land but there are times when there needs to be some amendments to certain administrative policies. Please support Bill C-201.” It was signed, “Yours sincerely, Donald A. Smith.”

So there you have it, folks. Well said. I’ll bet there are not five per cent of you who knew this sort of shenanigans was taking place in Ottawa, and don’t tell me the truth doesn’t hurt. This sort of thing is going to take place, again and again and again if public outcry is not heard clear across Canada.

If you are reluctant to write a letter to your favourite politician, cut this article out, sign it, and send it off to Ottawa. Give the people who keep this country we call Canada free, your support.

Take care, ‘cause we care.    



Barrie Hopkins