HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - July 27, 2012) - The president of the Canadian Labour Congress says that Canada's premiers are being forced to take the lead on issues that matter most to Canadians because Ottawa is not doing so.
Ken Georgetti made his comments in Halifax after monitoring a Council of the Federation meeting attended by Canada's premiers and territorial leaders. "Canadians are really concerned about health care and retirement security, and they want their governments to work together to resolve these issues," Georgetti says.
"Unfortunately, the federal government has a unilateral approach toward both health care and pensions. Last year the federal Finance Minister gave the premiers a take or leave it package on the federal contribution to health care through the year 2024. That's not good enough. We want Ottawa to remain a full partner in our health care system and to negotiate with the premiers on funding."
Georgetti says the government's unilateral attitude toward health care is similar to its approach to changing Old Age Security (OAS) and toward retirement security in general. "A good number of Canada's premiers accept the CLC's argument that improving the Canada Pension Plan is the best way to guarantee that people can retire in dignity. But Ottawa has chosen instead to introduce a vastly inferior private sector option called Pooled Retirement Pension Plans."
Georgetti says that the CLC's own polling indicates that people want and expect the federal government to play an important role in making life better for all Canadians. "The premiers want to act on pensions and on health care and we are calling on Ottawa to put its shoulder to the wheel as well."
The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.3 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 130 district labour councils. Website: www.canadianlabour.ca Follow us on Twitter@CanadianLabour