Good afternoon. My name is Elizabeth Byce and I am speaking to you on behalf of Socialist Action. I am a retired member of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and a past Secretary of the Toronto Labour Council.
Socialist Action is here to support this protest, initiated by the National Organization of Retired Postal Workers and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, against government Bill C-27. C-27 would allow Canada Post and other federal employers that established defined-benefit (DB) pension plans, to get rid of their legal obligations to pay promised and already-earned pensions benefits to federal employees, past and present. If the Defined Benefits Plan is replaced with a Target Benefit Pension Plan, the amount paid to retirees would be geared to the stock market. If the market goes down, money invested in it would go down too, leaving pensioners with a very insecure retirement. So, let’s be clear. Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are out to rob pensioners in order to support the dying capitalist system. They promised to improve and stabilize pensions. They lied! They promised meaningful consultation with everyone affected. They lied! And this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Trudeau promised electoral reform. He lied!
Trudeau promised no pipelines without the consent of indigenous peoples. He lied!
He promised action on missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. He lied!
He promised thousands of good, new jobs through massive investment in public works. He lied!
Trudeau promised to reverse Stephen Harper’s pro-war policies. Then he sent more soldiers to Eastern Europe, Iraq and Africa, and he increased the military budget by 70%. So, he lied about all that too!
Should we be surprised? Heck no! Bill Morneau doesn’t have to worry about a pension. He’s a very rich man.
Bill Morneau’s father, Frank Morneau, founded the benefit consulting firm W.F. Morneau & Associates in 1966. By 1985, the firm had an annual revenue of $5 million. Bill Morneau joined the company in 1987. He was appointed president in 1992, chief executive officer in 1998, and then chair and chief executive officer in 2008.
Morneau Shepell, the largest Canadian human resources services organization, with offices across North America, went from about 200 employees in 1992 to almost 4000 in 2015. The firm bought Sobeco from Ernst & Young in 1997, going public on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 2005, and acquired Shepell-FGI in 2008.
So where do you think Bill Morneau’s loyalties lie? With Main Street, or with Bay Street?
Morneau and the Liberal Party are tools of the capitalist class, which sets out to rob the working class every minute of every day. Their job is to maximize private profit and minimize social benefits.
But it is labour and nature that create all the wealth. Socialists say that workers make the country run, so workers should run the country.
When the bosses say they can’t afford to pay Defined Pension Benefits, they are lying. Socialists say Tax the Rich, tax the giant corporations, seize those hidden offshore bank accounts, nationalize the banks and big oil, cut the war budget, and Hands off our pensions!
The answer to capitalist austerity is socialist revolution. If you want to see real change in Canada, don’t rearrange the chairs on the deck of the Titanic. Fight for socialism. Join Socialist Action!
Hey, hey, ho, ho. C-27 has got to go!
Hey, hey, ho, ho. Bill Morneau has got to go!