Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Support quality journalism
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
The Globe and Mail
Support quality journalism
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Globe and Mail website displayed on various devices
Just$1.99
per week
for the first 24 weeks

var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){console.log("scroll");var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1);

Finance Minister Bill Morneau answers a question during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Monday, April 11, 2016.

Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Ottawa and the provinces are working on ways to reform the Canada Pension Plan and have scheduled a meeting for June 20-21 in Vancouver to see if there is consensus on moving forward with a specific plan.

The Liberals promised to enhance the CPP, and Finance Minister Bill Morneau said on budget day in March that he was "personally committed" to reaching a deal with the provinces and territories by the end of the year.

Sources say Ottawa and the provinces have been in talks at both the political and public-service levels on potential options that would be presented at the Vancouver meeting. The size of any increase and the potential impact of any change on economic growth are key aspects of the behind-the-scenes discussions.

Story continues below advertisement

Changes to the CPP require the support of seven of the 10 provinces representing two-thirds of the Canadian population, as well as the federal government. Several attempts in recent years to reform the program have fallen short of that mark.

Mr. Morneau last met with provincial and territorial finance ministers in December in Ottawa. At that meeting, they agreed to meet again in June to look at options for reform, with the possibility of making a final decision at the next December meeting.

Saskatchewan has expressed strong reservations about a mandatory increase but agreed in December to participate in the ongoing discussions.

British Columbia and Quebec have also expressed concern, meaning it is not yet clear whether Mr. Morneau will have the support he needs to deliver on his promise.

Dan Lauzon, a spokesman for the minister, confirmed the date and location of the meeting.

"Minister Morneau is working diligently to reach an agreement and will work to ensure that the positive and collaborative tone set last December continues in Vancouver," he said in an e-mail. "Most importantly, he will ensure that the goal of a safe, secure and dignified retirement for all Canadians stays top of mind as the negotiations continue."

Advocates for CPP reform argue that as fewer private-sector companies offer defined benefit pension plans – which provide guaranteed retirement income for life – the CPP should be enhanced to address this potential shortfall in retirement savings.

Story continues below advertisement

Critics argue that any plan to offer more generous benefits will involve mandatory increases in payroll premiums for workers and their employers, which could hurt employment during a time of sluggish economic growth.

Both sides of the debate are already lobbying hard on the issue.

The Canadian Labour Congress recently launched a $3.5-million national advertising campaign. The television ad shows a man receiving a watch as a retirement gift, which he then sells at a pawn shop late at night.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business, meanwhile, has said that preventing a CPP expansion is its top priority, and the small-business lobby group regularly raises the issue in its meetings with government officials.

Canadian Labour Congress president Hassan Yussuff said in an interview that he's been talking with officials across the country and is optimistic that an agreement can be reached.

He argues that if CPP is not improved, taxpayers will ultimately be on the hook to cover the rising cost of the Guaranteed Income Supplement, which is a federal program connected to Old Age Security that provides retirement benefits to low-income seniors.

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Yussuff said it appears from his conversations that Mr. Morneau may be able to get the required level of provincial support. "There's always been some naysayers in the group, but that's pretty narrow now," he said.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies