FREDERICTON – New Brunswick NDP Leader Dominic Cardy stood alongside public pension retirees in front of the Legislature Saturday morning and unveiled the Fairness For Pensioners Act. Cardy has promised to introduce the bill which would rescind the imposed shared risk deal for existing public pension retirees within the first legislative session of an NDP government.
“We have said that a contract is a contract is a contract and this piece of legislation shows we say what we mean and mean what we say,” Cardy said.
Ray Wilson, an active member in the pensioners group who has been fighting against the shared risk deal, said for many pensioners the shared risk deal puts them in financial jeopardy.
“What the Alward government is trying to do is an attack on seniors and lower income citizens of New Brunswick,” Wilson said. “Pensioners are at a stage of life where there is very little they can do to make up the lost purchasing power through the loss of a guaranteed inflation indexed pension plan.”
Cardy said the NDP is the only party that has stood up against the government on the unfair way our pensioners have been treated. He pointed out that the Liberals have waffled on the issue from day one and did nothing when they had a chance to press the issue.
“There were parliamentary procedures the Liberals could have used late last year to stop the passage of the pension bill,” Cardy said. “The NDP even offered advice to the Liberals on how they could use every procedural tool to stop this bill. Instead of using those procedures to leverage meaningful change to the pension legislation, Brian Gallant and the Liberal caucus completely rolled over.”
As a pensioner, Wilson said he appreciates what the NDP has done to fight the shared risk deal. “Mr. Cardy has been consistent from the beginning that ‘a contract is a contract’. On more than one occasion he has informed pensioners that when the NDP forms the next government of New Brunswick they will make it right and honour the agreement pensioners had when they retired,” Wilson said.
“New Brunswick deserves better. Our pensioners deserve better and that is what a new NDP government will deliver.” Cardy said.