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Trudeau vs Canada’s youth: Young Canadians are the big losers under Liberal government

CATHERINE SWIFT, SPECIAL TO FINANCIAL POST | July 20, 2016

Trudeau vs Canada’s youth: Young Canadians are the big losers under Liberal government

One of the ongoing policy themes of the Trudeau government is a supposed focus on youth. As well, most analysts attribute in part the majority election of the federal Liberals in 2015 to a higher-than-usual voting participation rate of younger Canadians, most of whom voted Liberal. Yet despite this superficial “youthful” orientation of the government, many of its key policies will in fact have very negative implications for young Canadians.

An early example was the decision to reduce the age of eligibility for the Old Age Supplement (OAS) to 65 from 67. Programs like the OAS were designed when the average life span was about 70. Now that people are regularly living to 90 and beyond, it doesn’t take a math genius to realize that these programs are no longer financially sustainable. From a political standpoint, the Harper government had already taken the political flak for increasing OAS eligibility to 67 years of age, so why not just leave it alone? As OAS is paid from general tax revenues, not a dedicated, separate fund such as the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), the burden for funding OAS falls on younger taxpayers. And quite a burden it will be, as actuarial estimates of moving the age back to 65 come in at about $11 billion annually up to 2030, growing to $16 billion per year by 2050. As the huge baby boomer age group increasingly becomes eligible for OAS, younger Canadians need to realize this will be their cost to bear.

The first Trudeau government budget was also very bad news for young Canadians. Huge deficits in the $30-billion range, at a time when the economy is not in recession, are inexcusable. The cumulative addition to our debt over the next four years – $100 billion-plus if the 2016 budget documents are to be believed – will fall on future taxpayers. The government has justified these massive deficits by claiming they will stimulate the economy, but if big government spending boosted economic growth Greece, Japan, Venezuela and many others should be leading the world now instead of being mired in economic stagnation.

The recently announced CPP hike is the most recent nail in the coffin. Virtually all objective analysts have for years stated that CPP enhancement was not needed and that the current system does a commendable job of providing retirement security for the vast majority of Canadians, especially those at the lower end of the income scale. Prior to entering politics, even the current Finance Minister Bill Morneau stated “Canadians are actually doing better than they think they are in their retirement planning – and are better off than many of the experts are telling us.”

So if it ain’t broke, why fix it? Part of the reason is that many Canadians believe they will be big winners from a larger CPP, despite facts to the contrary. Another compelling reason is that the very underfunded government employee pension plans, which are integrated with the CPP, will benefit greatly from a CPP expansion. Public sector unions spent many millions of their members’ mandatory dues in the 2015 federal election promoting the election of the Trudeau government, and the CPP changes are a very nice payback. Unfortunately, this payoff comes at the expense of the 80 per cent of Canadians who do not work for government, but who spend in the neighbourhood of $40 billion annually to fund rich government employee pensions. And as usual with such pension changes, younger taxpayers will bear the brunt of the CPP hikes, paying higher premiums up front for little gain in benefits down the road.

So beware, young Canadians. All the glitzy White House dinners and Vogue articles in the world won’t help you pay off the future tax obligations being accumulated in your name by this government. You might want to consider that next time you go to the ballot box. Many commentators have noted in recent years that millennials, those born between 1982 and 2004, could be the first generation in many decades to be worse off than their parents. The types of policies being implemented by the Trudeau government will pretty much guarantee that outcome.

Catherine Swift is president and CEO of Working Canadians

  admin   Jul 26, 2016   News   0 Comment   Read More

Radio interviews July 21 and 26, 2016

July 26, 2016

CHML 900AM
• 12:35 EST re: ON debt clock, debt and government fundraising schemes

• Go to: http://www.900chml.com/audio/
• Select from Audio Date drop down menu: July 26
• Select from Audio Time drop down:12:00PM
• Interview begins around 34 minute mark

July 21, 2016

CHML 900AM
• 9:05AM EST re: carbon pricing
• Go to: http://www.900chml.com/audio/
• Select from Audio Date drop down menu: July 21
• Select from Audio Time drop down: 9:00am
• Interview begins around 6 minute mark

Ottawa Today with Mark Sutcliffe Ottawa 1310AM
• 12:15PM EST re: FP Commentary
• Go to: http://www.1310news.com/audio/ottawa-today/
• Scroll down and select: Ottawa Today – July 21 (12:00-1:00)Jul 21, 2016, 01:45 PM)

NewsTalk 770AM with Danielle Smith
• 2:05PM EST
• Go to: http://www.newstalk770.com/audio-on-demand-2/
• Select from Audio Date drop down menu: July 21
• Select from Audio Time drop down 12:00PM
• Interview begins around 8 minute mark

NewsTalk 1010AM with Jerry Agar
• 10:05AM EST re: Trudeau vs Canada’s youth: Young Canadians are the big losers under Liberal government
https://soundcloud.com/jerry-agar-show/jerry-agar-podcast-july-21-2016

  admin   Jul 26, 2016   News   0 Comment   Read More

Failed NDP policies and what it means for Alberta in 2016

Media Advisory: Failed NDP policies and what it means for Alberta in 2016
Catherine Swift, Working Canadians asks: Are Alberta NDP politicians prepared to learn from history

Calgary, April 21, 2016 – Catherine Swift, head of Working Canadians will be in Calgary April 26, 2016 speaking at several engagements, including the Manning Centre at 7:00PM on failed NDP policies and what it means for Alberta in 2016.

“There are many parallels between the Rae government in 1990s Ontario and the Notley NDP government in Alberta today,” says Swift. Adding, “There are also many lessons that could be learned from the Ontario experience to prevent Alberta from having to suffer the very negative fallout that Ontario endured.”

To arrange an interview with Catherine Swift, please contact Gisele Lumsden at 647 466-5509 or via email info@workingcanadians.ca

Catherine Swift is past President and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Canada’s premier small business advocacy organization. Swift is now the head of Working Canadians, a not-for-profit organization with the mandate of opposing the negative impacts of excessive labour union influence on our economy and our society. @workingcdns

 

  admin   Apr 21, 2016   News   0 Comment   Read More

Beware the Coming Infrastructure Rip-Off!

For Immediate Release:

Toronto, January 21, 2016 – Working Canadians has launched a new campaign to publicize the costly and unfair policies of governments that favour unionized companies over their non-unionized counterparts in the granting of contracts to participate in government infrastructure contracts. This closed bidding process means that taxpayers end up paying significantly more for infrastructure than necessary, and that many legitimate, capable, taxpaying businesses are excluded from bidding on government projects that their tax dollars pay for. “In these difficult times when governments are already deep in debt and taxpayer dollars are scarce, it is disgraceful that governments continue to pursue these costly and unfair policies,” said Catherine Swift, President of Working Canadians.

Research has shown that these closed and biased bidding processes can increase the cost of infrastructure projects by as much as 40%. Swift added “When we know that tens of billions of dollars are going to be spent by governments at all levels over the next number of years, adhering to these foolish and costly procurement policies means that taxpayers will be paying billions more than necessary for infrastructure.”

Working Canadians will be running advertising in conventional media and social media targeted at Ontario in the coming weeks to raise awareness of this wasteful policy and encourage taxpayers to express their views to Ontario Premier Wynne and Finance Minister Sousa. “As unions represent an ever-shrinking percentage of the labour force, policies that favour unions over taxpayers work to the disadvantage of the vast majority of Ontarians, “ said Swift. “ It’s high time that governments geared their policies to benefit the majority of their constituents, not a small but vocal minority,” she added.

Watch our ad asking for fair and open competition, ending the monopoly of union-only, or closed-tendering, procurement policies.

Supporters are encouraged to send a message to the Ontario government at http://www.workingcanadians.ca.

Catherine Swift is Spokesperson for Working Canadians, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to opposing the negative impact excessive union influence has on the Canadian economy and society.

To arrange an interview with Catherine Swift, contact Gisele Lumsden at 647 466-5509 or by email: info@workingcanadians.ca

  admin   Jan 21, 2016   News   0 Comment   Read More

Working Canadians say hands off our TFSA: As Liberals claim to support the middle class, they should leave TFSAs alone

Toronto, December 8, 2015 – Although it is refreshing to see the federal Liberal government admit they erred regarding the amount of revenue they previously claimed would be raised by hiking income taxes on the “rich”, they would be well-advised to also rethink their plan to reduce the limit of the Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA). Work done by Working Canadians over the past month, including a public opinion poll and petitions,  has shown that the TFSA is anything but a tool only for the “rich”, and that the majority of low- and middle-income Canadians also very much support the higher limit. A majority of Canadians who voted Liberal in the recent election also support the current TFSA limit. “This government claims to be concerned that average Canadians are not saving enough for their retirement, and then weakens one of the key means for Canadians to save in a tax-efficient way?” asked Catherine Swift, spokesperson for Working Canadians. “That certainly doesn’t sound like a consistent policy approach at all.”

Another ostensible reason government has claimed for reducing the TFSA is that it “costs” the federal treasury too much. Yet, the federal government spends much more to enable government employees to enjoy very generous indexed pensions and other benefits on the taxpayer dime. “It is difficult to justify spending tens of billions of tax dollars on rich pensions for the 20% of Canadians who work for government, then turn around and say they can’t afford a small fraction of that to run the TFSA program. Allowing the 80% of Canadians who work in the private sector to save for a decent retirement for themselves and their families is only fair,” Swift said. Adding, “Prior to the election, the Liberals said they would be basing their policies on factual evidence. If they do intend to base policy decisions on fact, scaling back the TFSA limit should be the last thing they do.”

Comments Working Canadians has received on its online petition are instructive. Here are some examples:

  • “Doesn’t it make financial sense to keep as many Canadians as possible providing for their own retirement funds so that the existing system can better provide for those that truly need the assistance?”
  • “With such a low income, TFSAs are a necessary part of my retirement. Please do not reduce the limit.”
  • “The TFSA is of great benefit to me as a one-income household senior. The amount should not be reduced.”
  • “It should be higher than $10,000, not reduced. After all we are using after-tax dollars to create TFSAs in the first place.”
  • “As a freelance contractor working in the real world, no one gives me a fat pension. Leave the TFSA limit at $10,000 and help hard-working Canadians help themselves.”

 

The Canadian government has recently created a new online petition process. The Working Canadians TFSA petition can be found at https://petitions.parl.gc.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-3

Swift concluded, “Often an incoming government wants to change or water down policies of the previous government. In the case of the $10,000 TFSA, this temptation should be resisted so that all Canadians, not just government workers, can be permitted a decent retirement.”

Catherine Swift is Spokesperson for Working Canadians, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to opposing the negative impact excessive union influence has on the Canadian economy and society.

To arrange an interview with Catherine Swift, contact Gisele Lumsden at 647 466-5509 or by email: info@workingcanadians.ca

  admin   Dec 08, 2015   News   0 Comment   Read More

Majority of Canadians support leaving TFSA limit at $10,000, poll shows

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Toronto, December 3, 2015
 – A recent public opinion poll shows majority support among Canadians for leaving the TFSA (Tax Free Savings Account) limit at $10,000, not reducing it to $5,500 as the Liberal government is considering. This support is consistent across income levels, age, region and whether the respondent worked in the public or private sector. Catherine Swift, spokesperson for Working Canadians said, “53% of Canadians are in favour of leaving the TFSA limit at $10,000, while only 19% favoured reducing the limit.” A total of 27% of respondents said either “it depends” or “I don’t know.” These results are consistent with other polls conducted on this issue.

Both public and private sector employees demonstrated similar support for a higher TFSA limit at 56% and 62% respectively. “Since very few private sector Canadians enjoy the generous, inflation indexed pensions that are commonplace in the public sector, private sector support for maintaining the higher limit is not surprising,” said Swift. “Given that government employees are already very well provided for in retirement, the high level of support among this group for leaving the TFSA limit “as is” suggests public sector employees value the higher TFSA limit more than might have been expected.”

Keeping the TFSA limit the same enjoys considerable support among all income groups; support reaches majority level among respondents with incomes over $50,000. Respondents with income less than $25,000 exhibited the least support for leaving the TFSA limit “as is”, yet 37% of this group still wanted the limit to remain at $10,000. Support for retaining the $10,000 limit was also consistently strong across age groups, ranging from 51% among those 18-34 to 55% for those over 65.

The poll also showed support for the current TFSA limit among voters for different political parties. Of those who voted Liberal in the recent election, fully 52% want the limit to be left alone, as compared to 61% who voted Conservative, 51% of NDP voters, 63% of Green voters and 56% of Bloc Quebecois voters.

TFSAs have only been in place since 2009, and according to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) data, over 11 million Canadians have a TFSA, which is roughly half of the working population. “This is an amazing level of participation in a very short time,” Swift noted. She added “These poll results are another indicator of how much Canadians love their TFSAs, and want the current limit to remain.”

“Some people have claimed that the higher TFSA limit is only for the “rich” and costs the government too much in foregone tax revenue. The results of this poll and other data indicate that the higher limit TFSA is by no means something only the “rich” aspire to. As well, the federal government spends tens of billions of taxpayer dollars every year on very generous public sector pensions. Surely the couple of billion in tax dollars foregone annually in running the current TFSA program is the least the government can do to permit the 80% of Canadians who do not work for government to save for a decent retirement for themselves and their families,” stated Swift.

Since launching the campaign to promote leaving the TFSA limit at $10,000, Working Canadians has been overwhelmed by positive feedback. As a result, Working Canadians established a formal petition to the House of Commons, which will be introduced by Member of Parliament Peter Kent in the near future. The petition can be found at www.workingcanadians.ca/saveourtfsa — en français www.workingcanadians.ca/sauvonsnotreceli

 

This online poll was conducted between November 26 and 29, 2015 by Research House, amongst a nationally representative sample size of 1,012 Canadians who were 18 years of age or older.

Catherine Swift is Spokesperson for Working Canadians, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to opposing the negative impact excessive union influence has on the Canadian economy and society.

To arrange an interview with Catherine Swift, contact Gisele Lumsden at 647 466-5509 or by email: info@workingcanadians.ca

  admin   Dec 03, 2015   News   0 Comment   Read More

The Todd Veinotte Show (Episode 49)

The Todd Veinotte Show (Episode 49) | November 15, 2015 | Spokesperson for Working Canadians Catherine Swift joins us to discuss what she calls is a worrisome plan by the federal Liberals to cut the Tax Free Savings Account (TFSAs) contribution limit from $10,000 to $5,000. Also, President and CEO of WWF-Canada David Miller speaks to us about the organizations new “We Are All Wildlife” 5-year plan and what it consists of.

  admin   Nov 25, 2015   News   0 Comment   Read More

PETITION TO THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA ON THE TAX FREE SAVINGS ACCOUNT (TFSA) LIMIT

SAVE OUR TFSA

The newly elected Liberal federal government has discussed that the limit of Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) will be reduced from the current $10,000 to the previous ceiling of $5,500. Introduced in 2009, the TFSA permits the 80% of Canadians who do not work in government to save their own money for a decent retirement.

SIGN THE PETITION  /  SIGNEZ LA PÉTITION

PÉTITION ADRESSÉE AU GOUVERNEMENT DU CANADA SUR LA LIMITE DU COMPTE D’ÉPARGNE LIBRE D’IMPÔT (CELI)
SAUVONS NOTRE CELI

Le gouvernement libéral fédéral, nouvellement élu, avait mentionné que la limite des comptes d’épargne libres d’impôt (CELI) serait ramenée de 10 000 $ au plafond précédent soit à 5 500 $. Introduit en 2009, le CELI permet à 80% des Canadiens qui ne travaillent pas au sein du gouvernement d’épargner leur propre argent afin d’obtenir une retraite décente.

  admin   Oct 27, 2015   News   0 Comment   Read More

TFSA Limit Should Remain at $10,000 to Ensure Fairness for Average Working Canadians

Toronto, October 22, 2015 – In the wake of the election of a Liberal federal government, there has been discussion that the limit of Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) will be reduced from the current $10,000 to the previous ceiling of $5,500. In all of the dialogue about how well-prepared Canadians are for retirement, short shrift has been given to the fact that the 80% of Canadians who do not work in government collectively contribute tens of billions of their tax dollars every year so that government workers can enjoy very generous, defined-benefit pensions, indexed to inflation, with additional post-retirement extended health and dental benefits. Catherine Swift, spokesperson for Working Canadians, stated that “This situation is profoundly unfair to the vast majority of Canadians. Canadians in the private sector would be much more able to adequately save for their own retirement if they were not pouring so much of their money into gold-plated pensions for government employees.”

Introduced in 2009, the TFSA gave hope to private sector Canadian taxpayers that they now could access a program that would permit them to save their own money for a decent retirement. And since TFSA contributions have already been taxed, the government has already received significant monies on this income, as only the appreciation in TFSA investments can be accumulated tax-free. “The enthusiasm with which Canadians have embraced TFSAs is a good indication that such a tool was needed for the large majority of Canadians who do not have the immense advantage of a government employee pension,” expressed Swift.

Indeed, looking at the data on TFSAs since their inception, the facts are impressive. More than half of Canadians have a TFSA, and of the TFSA holders who have topped up their contributions to the maximum limit, fully 60% earn less than $60,000 per year. And TFSAs are an excellent tool for seniors who can no longer contribute to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan after the age of 71. “TFSAs have been criticized by some as being a tool for the rich – yet these statistics show that is simply not true. Canadians currently pay about 43% of their income in taxes – more than they spend on food, shelter and clothing combined. And many of those tax dollars go to provide very generous pensions to government workers – pensions that the average Canadian cannot afford for themselves,” said Swift. Adding, “It would seem that leaving the TFSA limit where it currently stands at $10,000 is the least a government can do to enable 80% of Canadians to put away some funds for a proper retirement for themselves.”

“Even if someone contributed the maximum of $10,000 per year to a TFSA, it would still not compare to the very rich public sector pension plans. But, it would at least give 80% of Canadians a fighting chance to save for a decent retirement for themselves and their families,” stated Swift.

Catherine Swift is Spokesperson for Working Canadians, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to opposing the negative impact excessive union influence has on the Canadian economy and society.

To arrange an interview with Catherine Swift, contact Gisele Lumsden at 647 466-5509 or by email: info@workingcanadians.ca

  admin   Oct 22, 2015   News   0 Comment   Read More

Catherine Swift available to provide commentary following Federal election

Toronto, October 19, 2015 – Working Canadians spokesperson, Catherine Swift, will be available to provide commentary immediately following Monday’s Federal election results (contact details below).

“On behalf of Working Canadians everywhere, no matter what the outcome may be this evening, we will continue to work as a voice to counter excessive union influence over government, our economy and our society,” states Swift. Adding, “We will remain committed to opposing any policies that favour unions at the expense of the majority of ordinary working Canadians.”

To arrange an interview with Catherine Swift, contact Gisele Lumsden at 647 466-5509 or by email: info@workingcanadians.ca

  admin   Oct 19, 2015   News   0 Comment   Read More

NDP threat to BC families

June, 2015

I remember when the NDP were in power in BC. All they seemed to care about was what was good for their union friends. While Canada was booming, they ran BC’s economy into the ground. I got through one NDP government. I don’t want to do it again. What would an NDP government in Ottawa look like? A lot like NDP governments in BC. Watch our ad.

  admin   Jul 08, 2015   News   0 Comment   Read More

Economic consequences of public sector unions: Working Canadians delivers message to Manning Conference

Ottawa, March 6, 2015 – On Saturday, March 7, 2015 Catherine Swift of Working Canadians will be speaking at the annual Manning Networking Conference at a session entitled “Strengthening Business Confidence”. Ms. Swift will emphasize that the best way to rebuild business confidence is to pursue a balanced policy agenda and not one that adheres excessively to the goals of labour unions. “We have seen in Ontario the very damaging impacts of permitting labour unions to effectively dominate the public policy agenda,” said Swift.
 

 

  admin   May 01, 2015   News   0 Comment   Read More

The power of unions

October 7, 2014

— 100 years ago, unions were a necessity, now unions represent more money for less work. Canada has the most privileged and some of the best paid public sector workers in the world. Spend a few minutes and listen to an October 7, 2014 CBC Maritme Noon interview with Working Canadians spokesperson, Catherine Swift and Nova Scotia Federation of Labour president, Rick Clarke as they debate the power of unions.
(interview begins at the 20:00 minute mark)

  admin   Jan 28, 2015   News   0 Comment   Read More

WORKING CANADIANS LABOUR DAY MESSAGE: TAXPAYER FOOTING THE BILL!

High times for the public sector

The last few years have truly been high times for public sector unions while the vast majority of Canadians have been harmed by the unions’ excessive influence. On the west coast, a fractious teachers’ strike is underway, yet again. Teachers’ contracts in Ontario are also soon coming up for renewal. Canadian teachers are some of the best paid in the world, earning generous salaries for working nine months a year and retiring early with a generous pension indexed to inflation. Most Canadians would be ecstatic at such good fortune but union culture always demands more no matter what.
Read the full column here… High times for the public sector

  admin   Sep 04, 2014   News   0 Comment   Read More
  • Union Bosses

    Elections Ontario released details of spending by unions in the 2014 Ontario provincial general election.

    The data show that overall Third Party spending totaled almost $9 million, an increase of 43% from such spending in the 2011 election.

    And unions or union-affiliated groups were the only ones to spend over $100,000.

    The total spending by unions was in excess of $7.5 million.

    Every other province and the federal rules strictly limit what can be spent by anyone, whether an individual, corporation, union or other.

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