Fly Past 60 Coalition Callout: End Mandatory Retirement — Write Your Member of Parliament!

The Private Member’s Bill, Bill C-481, that is intended to repeal the mandatory retirement exemption of the Canadian Human Rights Act is going to a vote for Second Reading on Monday, November 15th. The Fly Past Coalition is asking each of you to send the text below to your Member of Parliament immediately, urging him or her to vote in favour of the Bill. There is a process in place to make this very, very easy for you. Just use CARP E-Voice
. That system links you directly to your own Member of Parliament via e-mail. You simply need to make few clicks, the cut and past the text below [or your own message] into the empty box on the web page. Have each member of your family and each one of your friends and neighbours who support your case do the same—there is an assumed multiplier to each of these e-mails, and there is little time left. The vote will take place this coming Monday!

For more information:
Fly Past 60 Coalition

——————–Suggested Message————————

On Monday, November 15th, you will be asked to vote whether Bill C-481 should proceed to second reading. I strongly urge you to vote in favour of moving the Bill to second reading, for the following reasons:

1. The Bill, once its provisions become law, will eliminate the discriminatory practice of forcing mandatory retirement upon capable, productive individuals who are currently working in companies and industries in the federal jurisdiction, for the sole reason that those individuals have reached an arbitrary age of retirement determined by their employer;

2. In a country that should continue to value the professional contribution of its most experienced workers, it makes no sense whatsoever to force those workers to terminate their employment simply because they have reached an arbitrary age of the employers’ choosing, and not for any reason related to the knowledge, skill or capabilities of the individuals;

3. The Bill will have no effect upon professions where mandatory retirement is permissible by reason of bona fide occupational requirement—the Canadian Human Rights Act has an alternative provision that will allow mandatory retirement to continue in such circumstances;

4. At a time when defined benefit pension plans and other pension plans are suffering from contribution shortfalls and their survival is in jeopardy, it makes no sense whatsoever to force employees who wish to continue working and who wish to continue contributing to the pension schemes to instead stop contributing to these schemes and start drawing benefits from the schemes;

5. The impugned mandatory retirement exemption in the Canadian Human Rights Act was enacted over 30 years ago, at a time when there were labour surpluses and no shortage of younger workers in need of acquiring jobs in the economy; today exactly the opposite is the case—there is a shortage of skilled labour at both ends of the employment spectrum. Arbitrarily terminating the employment of skilled workers, against their will, creates unnecessary negative effects upon the workforce, including creating professional deficiencies and wholly unnecessary retraining costs;

6. Almost every other jurisdiction in Canada has recognized the counterproductive nature of mandatory retirement, and has repealed the exemptions within their legislative schemes that permit mandatory retirement;

7. The Federal Court has recently found that the mandatory retirement exemption in the Canadian Human Rights Act violates the equality provisions of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (decision 2009 FC 36) ; and

8. The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has recently found that the breach of Section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by the mandatory retirement exemption in the Canadian Human Rights Act is not justified, pursuant to Section 1 of the Charter, and is of no force and effect (Tribunal decision 2009 CHRT 24). Unfortunately, decisions of that Tribunal are not binding on other tribunals or upon itself, and as a result every individual whose employment is wrongfully terminated by reason of this offensive provision in the Canadian Human Rights Act is forced to bring a separate complaint before the Canadian Human Rights Commission and take that complaint through adjudication at the Tribunal in order to gain reinstatement of employment;

For all the above reasons, I strongly urge you as my Member of Parliament, to vote in favour of moving Bill C-481 to second reading.

Thank you,

Keywords: mandatory retirement