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Take the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), which recently reached a tentative agreement with Canada Post. Even though Canada Post faces a pension shortfall of $6.2 billion, all reports suggest that CUPW did not make any concessions on defined-benefit pensions.
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The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) recently released a report that leaves no doubt about this wage gap. Public sector employees are making a lot more than you are for doing the same job. To add insult to injury, public sector employees are also working fewer hours than you to earn their above-market wages.
Once again, Calgary city council has raised property taxes beyond the rate of inflation. No surprise. Over the past seven years, only once, in 2007, has council approved a tax increase below Calgary's inflation rate. The latest hike, 4.5 per cent in residential property taxes for 2015, is triple the average annual Statistics Canada inflation rate for the 2010-2014 period in Calgary
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OTTAWA - The auditor general says Canada's public pension plans could pose a significant threat to the government's financial footing because little attention is being paid to looming costs, such as t...
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On May 1 Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa will stand in the provincial legislature to deliver this year's budget speech. Imagine if Sousa were to surprise us all and take a different track -- one that sets out a new agenda to return Ontario to its historical position as the economic engine of the country.
Most government sector employees do a fine job and are a critical part of a civilized society. But pension liabilities are ultimately paid for by taxpayers, either through special payments or increased contribution rates. The sheer size of the government sector means it is in everyone's interest to ensure compensation is fair and affordable for all.
By again kicking the existing unfunded pension liabilities down the road, the province has exposed taxpayers to future risks and more bailouts, obvious or hidden. The government has also demonstrated that the theory about political behaviour -- politicians mostly act in their own short-term electoral interest and not in the long-term interest of the public -- is regrettably true more often than not.
The government/private sector pension disparity is a problem. Defined benefit pensions promise enrollees guaranteed benefits at a certain retirement age. But when existing contributions and the returns hoped for do not materialize, taxpayers without such guarantees must bail out government plans because of the promised benefits.
Whether one-time bailouts or multiple hikes in pension contribution rates, tax dollars are still used to top up public sector plans, and this is because plan members are guaranteed a certain level of benefits in retirement. And that's the real problem: taxpayers, most of whom do not have a registered defined benefit plan, end up paying for pension promises to government employees' unions.
Such reforms and others are long overdue and the finance minister and his colleagues should be commended for starting to tackle the difficult issue of public sector pension reform. They still have a long way to go though.
Canadians routinely hear about alleged growing divides in Canadian society. But here is one rift that often goes unmentioned: the divide between the pension benefits of public sector employees and everyone else.
Such inequality incurs real costs, where ordinary taxpayers pay ever more for above-market, guaranteed pension benefits that ever fewer in the private sector possess.
The Conservative government recently introduced C-45, an omnibus bill containing provisions to create a two-tier public sector workforce in this country. Buried in the bill is a provision to raise the age of retirement for all public employees hired after January 1, 2013