The Alberta NDP is giving Albertans a chance to say whether they even want to leave the Canadian Pension Plan.
On Monday, the NDP launched a survey in reaction to the UCP government’s survey which is part of the province’s public consultation on a potential Alberta Pension Plan.
The NDP call the UCP’s survey biased for not asking whether Alberta should leave the CPP.
“This consultation, like the report, is not designed to accurately capture the views of Albertans,” said Shannon Phillips, Alberta NDP Critic for Finance, Insurance and Pensions, in a statement.
“We will let people express their views, including their opposition to Danielle Smith taking control of their retirements, their parents’ retirements and their grandparents’ retirements.”
Last week the province released an independent report on the potential creation of an Alberta Pension Plan that suggests it could save Albertans billions each year with lower contribution rates, higher benefits and stronger benefit security for families and retirees.
A government pension panel led by former provincial finance minister Jim Dinning is to hold information sessions and solicit feedback through the spring.
The panel would then deliver a report about whether it believes Albertans want the issue put to a vote.
If so, Smith has said there would be a referendum and a majority of Albertans would have to give the OK.
The NDP say every question in the UCP’s survey is about how Albertans would want to design an Alberta Pension Plan.
“It’s designed to give Danielle Smith an excuse to impose on Alberta seniors and businesses the agenda she’s been pushing for two decades. It’s a consultation that could only be called a sham in the most generous terms,” Phillips said.
“Your pension belongs to you. Not to Danielle Smith. Not to the UCP. We will not stop fighting to protect your retirement and economic security.”
The Alberta NDP says its pension consultation follows on from a very successful consultation in opposition to the Alberta Pension Plan proposed by then-Premier Jason Kenney that received over 60,000 responses opposed to the UCP seizing control of people’s pensions.
A statement from Finance Minister Nate Horner said his government has always been clear that Albertans will choose what happens to their pensions.
“Ensuring Albertans have the opportunity to provide their feedback on what an Alberta Pension Plan could mean for them is a priority for Alberta’s government. The NDP provides zero context for Albertans to be able to make informed decisions about switching to an APP in their survey, which is extremely disappointing. Albertans deserve the facts,” Horner said.
— with files from The Canadian Press