Tories put opposition between rock, hard place on MP pension reform

OTTAWA — If opposition MPs want to be seen supporting cuts to their gold-plated pension plan, they’ll have to vote for a host of other measures, no matter how unpalatable

OTTAWA — If opposition MPs want to be seen supporting cuts to their gold-plated pension plan, they’ll have to vote for a host of other measures, no matter how unpalatable.

Treasury Board President Tony Clement has confirmed that pension reforms will be included in the second, omnibus, budget implementation bill, expected to be introduced shortly.

He says there’ll be no separate, stand-alone bill on pension reform, as opposition parties had urged.

Opposition MPs believe the tactic is aimed at putting them in an untenable position: support the budget bill, no matter what else is in it, or vote against cuts to their own fat pensions.

If they vote against the bill, Tories will doubtless accuse them of refusing to share the pain of Canadians, whose retirement savings have taken a big hit over the past few years and who are being asked to wait until 67 to collect old age security.

The opposition brought Parliament to a standstill last spring in a futile bid to stop the Harper government’s first omnibus budget bill, which ran to 400-plus pages and involved controversial changes to some 70 different pieces of legislation.