But that’s not all. Kenney is also attacking the independence of Alberta’s biggest pension plans
EDMONTON – Today’s headlines in Alberta will, quite rightly, be about Jason Kenney’s outrageous decision to fire the Elections Commissioner who has been investigating illegal activities related to his 2017 campaign for the UCP leadership campaign.
But the piece of legislation that accomplishes this nasty bit of political dirty work also contains yet another attack on the retirement security of hundreds of thousands of Albertans.
Specifically, Bill 22, the Reform of Agencies, Boards and Commissions and Government Enterprise Act, 2019 will allow the government – not employers and workers – to decide who runs Alberta’s big public-sector pension plans.
This comes only about a week after the UCP introduced separate pieces of legislation that seized the assets in the teachers’ pension fund and removed the ability of other public sector pension plans to opt out of using the provincially owned and controlled investment firm, AIMCo, if they had lost confidence in the organization.
“The Local Authorities Pension Plan and the Public Services Pension Plan are the main vehicles for retirement saving for more than 300,000 Alberta workers and retirees,” says Alberta Federation of Labour president Gil McGowan.
“Today, after the premier used the power of the legislature to obstruct justice and commit what would essentially be an impeachable offence in the United States, he turned his attention to Alberta workers and retirees and basically said: ‘I’m going to take your retirement savings and put them into my big political slush fund. And there’s nothing you can do about it.’ Well, we’re here to say that he’s not going to get away with it: on either front.”
McGowan says Kenney can expect to have a big fight on his hands.
“These pension funds represent the retirement savings of hundreds of thousands of Albertans. Premier Kenney has another thing coming if he thinks he can just expropriate these funds and use them for his political purposes. Workers and pensioners in this province did not ask Kenney and the UCP to interfere in the administration of their pensions, nor do they have confidence that they will run those plans in a fair or responsible way. This is a shocking, unjustified and indefensible power and money grab by a premier who clearly has no respect for other people’s property.”
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