Forget the Duffy Circus - MP Pensions a Real Election Issue

Forget the Duffy Circus-MP Pensions a Real Election Issue

As published in the Ottawa Sun: August 18, 2015 and the Victoria Standard: August 31, 2015

Like most Members of Parliament and all Senators, Stephen Harper will eventually retire in publicly-subsidized security in spite of minimal contributions to his MP pension scheme. His so-called MP pension reform is, at best; a token gesture that barely reduces the current inequities.

Unlike seniors and disability pensioners, Harper's ability to supplement his income will be limited only by ambition rather than earnings caps or “claw backs”. Worse than this is the fact that he, the Leader of the Official Opposition and the Governor General all enjoy free housing, food, utilities, insurance and entertainment while in office. Even the lowest-paid Canadian soldier must pay for their own "rations and quarters."
Therefore, might not our political elite be required to pay a reasonable percentage of their living expense out of respect for us, their benefactors?

The above-mentioned facts are among the reasons why his objections to the Ontario government’s proposed retirement pension scheme indicate both hypocrisy and indifference to the welfare of retirees. Rather than object to the Ontario scheme; Harper should temper his privatization obsession and support improvements to Canada’s CPP.

Perhaps Harper’s pay and benefits should be linked to the unpredictable performance of the free market. That would truly test his faith in our economic system. In any case, I’m sure Mr. Harper and MPs will choose the safety and comfort of the current arrangement. At the very least, retired or defeated MPs might reasonably be entitled to a modest pension based on a vastly higher contribution rate than the current token amount.