CARP Town Hall – Ontario Finance Minister, Dwight Duncan speaks at CARP AGM on Pension Reform

November 12, 2010 – Politicians are recognizing just how important CARP members are to garnering support and receiving informed feedback on a variety issues. At the AGM, CARP hosted a ‘Town Hall’ for Dwight Duncan, Ontario’s Minister of Finance, to engage with CARP Chapter Chairs from across the country.

In addition to taking questions from CARP members, Mr. Duncan introduced his government’s Consultation Document on the retirement income system in Canada. “Securing our Retirement Future” outlines the challenges facing the retirement system in Canada and proposes a number of potential options for CPP expansion and pension plan innovation. CARP is currently preparing its submission on pension reform to the Ontario government, which will reiterate our commitment to a universal, defined benefit pension plan that would target over 8 million Canadians who are currently without occupational plans.

The CARP Town Hall meeting with Mr. Duncan launched the Ontario consultation process to inform Ontario’s participation at the December 20, 2010 meeting of provincial-territorial-federal finance ministers on pension reform in Kananaskis, Alberta. The December meeting is a continuation of the meeting in PEI this past June which was pivotal in shifting the national debate on pension reform. However, much work remains to be done – especially to identify the options that can be pursued.

The Ontario Finance Minister’s Town Hall came at an important juncture. Canada’s finance ministers are far from unanimous on the extent to which reforms should be taken or even whether reform is needed. And in the week previous to the Town Hall, the federal Finance Minister had already tried to dampen expectations for progress at Kananaskis.

So it was particularly important that Mr. Duncan took pains at this time to reiterate his government’s commitment to pension reform to an assembly of older Canadians whose advocacy for pension reform is on the record. Indeed, he urged CARP chairs from across the country to keep up the pressure on their own finance ministers to keep pension reform on track.

The Town Hall session was recorded, and the full video can be viewed here

To read and contribute to the Ontario Consultation Process, click here

In the Hot Seat: Dwight Duncan, with Susan Eng

St-John/Avalon Chair Ralph Morris asks Minister Duncan a question

Ross Mayor, VP of Community Development looks on and listens to the Minister’s announcement.

Keywords: pension reform, retirement