Showdown – Feds vs Ontario – ORPP still the same bad idea

brightpoliticiansI haven’t written about the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) for a few months because we are all waiting to hear from the Province of Ontario on the details of how this mega-debacle will work.

In today’s Globe & Mail, Bill Curry reports that our Federal Finance Minster, Joe Oliver, has written to Ontario’s Finance Minister, Charles Sousa, letting him know that the Federal Government won’t be helping Ontario operate its newly minted ORPP. Unfortunately I can’t find the actual letter but I am willing to trust the Globe that the letter exists as it is reported.

Those that have been listening to me know that one of the things I have been saying since the start of the year is that in order to give the ORPP any chance of success then Ontario needs to take some key steps including getting the Feds onside. There are other things that need to happen for the ORPP to work and you can go back and read those comments here.

On one hand I am disappointed that the Feds aren’t willing to help us Ontarians half-salvage what I have repeatedly said is a bad idea (read more here and here) and on the other hand I think this moment is going to reinforce to the taxpayers in this province just how bad an idea this is.

I don’t know how Ontario’s government got it in its head that Ontario needs its own mini-CPP with more complexity than a space shuttle launch. It seems to me that if they polled citizens and asked “do you think the Ontario government should pay retirees bigger pensions?” they would have gotten a resounding yes. But the correct question would have been “do you think the Ontario government should set-up an entirely new pension program with administration costs that are inefficient and redundant with the CPP to tax current workers and their employers to pay bigger pensions to future retirees?” I just don’t see how they would get anything but a resounding no and I just don’t get why they are deluding themselves that any significant portion of voters are on board with their plans.

I am still waiting for more details and will keep readers up to date. Although my voice to scrap this thing remains faint, it was interesting to see how loud the voice in favour of recognizing DC plans as a ‘comparable plan’ has gotten. I understand that this voice has gained the province’s attention — but that doesn’t mean they will actually be recognized as comparable…

Have a fun summer – stay tuned!



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