Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne pressed ahead with a new provincial pension plan even in the face of opposition from business groups and the federal government.
Wynne, at a press conference in Toronto, said mandatory contributions will be phased in, reaching 1.9 percent each from employers and employees by 2021. The new Ontario Retirement Pension Plan won’t apply to employees already in comparable workplace plan, she said.
“It’s very unfortunate that the federal government has decided they’re not going to work with us,” Wynne told reporters Tuesday. “We had a long discussion about the enhancement of CPP. They determined that they were not interested in doing that.”
The plan, which will affect 3.5 million employees, was part of the governing Liberal Party’s campaign platform in provincial elections last year, has been criticized by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper as a tax that would undermine the economy. Instead, Harper has said his government will consider allowing additional voluntary contributions to the country’s mandatory Canada Pension Plan.
“We’re doing this for the next generation -- our children, and our grandchildren -- to ensure they can retire with the security they deserve,” Wynne said in a statement.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has launched a campaign to stop the new pension plan.