Not speaking up makes us powerless

Sadly, what we deserve and what we can afford are two different issues

Over the past few weeks I have been researching the details of the pension plan offered to Canada’s retired MPs.

MP’s receive between $157,000 and $314,000 per year – the average Canadian earns $45,000. Canada’s national debt is now over $580 billion and growing.

After six years of service, retired MP’s are entitled to a pension beginning at age 55.

The average Canadian does not have a pension other than what they are able to save and the minimal government pensions.

We have seniors in our country who are going to food banks and free meal centers as they cannot pay their rent and buy food. Most worked all their lives, paid taxes and are devastated to now have to ask for help.

The average MP pension is $78,000. I have no doubt that MP’s feel that they deserve this,  and perhaps they do. Sadly, what we deserve and what we can afford are two different issues.

We cannot afford these pensions as long as the government is debating whether or not to raise the level of eligibility to 67 from 65 to save money.

Not as long as we have hard working Canadians who have reached their senior years and now struggle to keep a roof over their heads and food on their tables. If these people had received between $157,000 and $314,000 per year, they could have been able to set aside a retirement fund. Instead they worked for $45,000 and struggled to raise their families while paying taxes.

MP’s pension plans are banked not invested. MP’s pension plan is government regulated to grow at a rate of 10.4 per cent per year. If the interest rate does not generate this growth, the Canadian people top it up to make sure it reaches its 10.4 per cent mandate.

Canadians who are lucky enough to have a workplace pension plan are tied to the growth or decline of their pension’s investments. The average pension plan has decreased approximately 20 per cent in this latest economic decline. Seniors who have invested with the plan of living off of the interest from their investments are struggling to get by with record low returns.

The government’s proposed review of the MP pension plan is to be headed by Tony Clement, a long-time Conservative and future recipient of the gold plated pension plan.

You may  remember Clement from the questions regarding the $50 million spent for the G8 summit, most of which ended up in his riding for projects that would require some mental gymnastics to see the relationship between the summit and the way the money was spent. He has yet to fully discuss this issue. Is this the person we trust to arrive at an objective, fair conclusion?

Please don’t hold back your opinion and feel powerless. That feeling is what makes us powerless. If everyone who felt as I do called or emailed their MP and expressed their concerns, they would need to take our concerns seriously. If everyone who felt as I do printed out a petition requesting an independent review and got at least 25 people to sign it their MP would be required to present it in the House of Commons.

Andree D’Andrea

Just Posted

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Surrey Fire Service battled a dock fire along the Fraser River late Friday night (June 18). It was on Musqueam Drive, near Industrial Road, around 10:45 p.m. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
VIDEO: Fire engulfs pier on Surrey side of the Fraser River

Dock has reportedly been unused for a long time

People in Metro Vancouver can expect to experience a short wave of heat just in time for Father’s Day, according to Environment Canada. (Black Press Media files)
Short-lived heatwave headed for Metro Vancouver this weekend

Temperatures are expected to be up to 10 degrees higher than average Sunday and Monday

Most Read