Ontario’s professors and academic librarians are welcoming the news that former Prime Minister Paul Martin will help develop a new Ontario Pension Plan. Martin’s appointment was announced yesterday by Premier Kathleen Wynne.
“A consensus is building that that an enhanced public pension plan is a desirable solution to the growing retirement income security crisis for the middle class in Ontario,” said Kate Lawson, President of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA). “The provincial government has been signaling since 2010 that if the federal government failed to act on this file, Ontario would move on its own. We are pleased that the Wynne government is following through on this important commitment.”
Martin will work as an unpaid Special Advisor to Minister of Finance Charles Sousa. He has extensive experience on pension plan reform, having led the last major revision of the Canada Pension Plan in the 1990s. While there is no clear timeline for introducing the new Ontario plan, it will likely inform the Ontario Liberals’ election campaign. There has been increasing concern in policy circles that the current CPP will not meet the needs of future retirees.
“OCUFA has supported and applauded this government’s leadership on CPP reform because we believe it plays an important part in securing adequate retirement incomes for faculty generally, and for contract faculty in particular,” said Lawson. “In fact, a new provincial plan stands to benefit all Ontarians. We look forward to participating in the development of a made-in-Ontario plan.”