On Stephen Harper’s Attack of the Ontario Pension Ambitions
Stephen Harper has chosen to stick his nose into someone else’s business.
What else is new, right?
In this case, it’s all about the Province of Ontario’s ambitions concerning their own pension plan.
What Canadians – and most importantly, the people of Ontario – are NOT being told is that this is a VERY significant power play.
It’s about financial independence for the province of Ontario, which the federal Cons are not fans of. The more we collect here (Ontario) for Ontarians, the less dependent we are on decisions from Parliament Hill and the CPP. It’s essentially what Alberta’s fund was all about (until the Cons destroyed it). An Ontario-funded pension could potentially have a mandate of considering Ontario ventures and companies first before looking outside the border, balanced with a mandate of maximizing ROI.
In the past, the CPP has been significantly over-weighted in resource stocks, including oil, benefiting oil producing provinces (eg. Alberta). A forward-looking Ontario can instead invest in renewable projects, technology companies and other ‘local’ businesses that benefit the people of Ontario.
Even though I personally find the attacks embarrassing for Stephen Harper, the federal Cons have made it an election issue because (a) they can easily describe it as a tax, (b) it distracts from their complete failure to manage the economy as they pretend they do and (c) they are attacking Liberals in the process. People tend not to differentiate between provincial and federal politics, so it’s an easy win for the Cons.
Wynne and the rest of Ontario should tell Stephen Harper to bugger off and mind his own business. However, since he doesn’t do that very well, the Ontario pension plan is a perfect deflection.