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David SweetWEB
MP pension reform passes unanimously

The federal government recently introduced landmark pension reforms as part of the Jobs and Growth Act 2012 introduced in Parliament. These changes tackle the much-publicized issue of bringing the pension contribution rates for MPs, senators and public servants more in line with the contribution rates of the private sector.

These are the most significant changes in public pension management in decades and underscore our continued commitment to returning to a balanced federal budget.

To lead by example, the MP pensions portion of the legislation was pulled out and passed unanimously by the House of Commons. Specifically, Members of Parliament will see their contributions rise to a 50-50 per cent cost-sharing and the age at which a MP can begin collecting a full pension will also rise from 55 to 65.

We campaigned on this, and I’m proud to be part of the government that has made this change happen.

The changes to MP pensions will garner $29 million in combined savings by 2017. Once implemented in the Jobs and Growth Act 2012, the changes to the 420,000-strong public sector pension regime will bring total savings to $2.6 billion in taxpayer dollars, also by 2017.

• • •

An unrelenting advocate for Canada, a man who embodied the very best qualities of our nation, was lost with the passing of Lincoln Alexander.

Linc blazed a trail as the Member of Parliament for Hamilton West, a federal cabinet minister and one of the finest Lieutenant-Governors in Ontario’s history. But where he truly shined was in his ability to connect with people – particularly young people. He was a man of the people in his every day life. And that’s how he conducted himself as an MP and Lieutenant-Governor.

Linc truly made a difference in people’s lives. He was involved in so many causes for youth and the less fortunate.

In that vein, please allow me to encourage a couple of local youth groups who are doing great work in our community and who have contacted my office recently. The Routes Youth Centre, a youth drop-in and mentoring centre in Dundas, is having their annual fundraising rake-a-thon on Nov. 17. Contact ashleygreenwood@routesyouthcentre.ca to support their efforts.

Also this month, a group of Redeemer University College students are collecting new or good, used warm blankets for a local shelter. Drop off blankets anytime during November at the Student Life Office on the Redeemer campus, 777 Garner Rd. E., Ancaster, or at Micah House in Hamilton, 333 King St. E.

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