“This morning, I was able to participate in a federal-provincial-territorial (FPT) discussion with the country’s finance ministers to discuss pensions.
“To be clear, Alberta is committed to making sure that any potential creation of an Alberta Pension Plan will not leave our fellow Canadians without a stable pension and its associated benefits.
“For the past several weeks, Alberta has been having an open discussion about the possibility of establishing an Alberta Pension Plan that will benefit our seniors and workers. This will only happen if Albertans vote to do so in a referendum.
“To help frame the conversation, we commissioned a report by an independent, expert actuary, Lifeworks (formerly known as Morneau-Shepell). The report provides details as to the asset transfer value that Alberta could expect to receive according to the withdrawal formula that was voluntarily agreed to by all Canadian provinces decades ago when the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) was established, and which was once again updated, with agreement by the provinces, in 1997.
“We are encouraged to hear the federal government commit to providing a comprehensive actuarial analysis of the asset transfer value Alberta would be entitled to receive should it withdraw from the CPP. We’ve been asking for this for several weeks. It is critical for the ongoing discussion of an Alberta Pension Plan that we have a firm asset transfer number (and the potential benefit increases to Albertans stemming from that transfer amount) upon which Albertans can make an informed decision.
“There are other critical conversations happening across the country, including the federal government’s changes to the carbon tax. We have all heard multiple premiers raise concerns about the federal government’s recent actions on carbon tax carve outs for some provinces, and several finance ministers again raised the urgency of this issue during our call, including me.
“Canadians remain in the midst of an affordability crisis and the carbon tax continues to hurt us all. While a number of us had hoped to also address this issue during the call, I am very eager to have a fulsome conversation at our next FPT, scheduled for Dec. 14-15. At that time, I hope we can discuss cutting the carbon tax so Albertans and Canadians will no longer be penalized according to where they live, and which members of Parliament they elect.”