Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour
Waterloo Regional Labour Council

February 09, 2012 14:54 ET

Occupation Underway at Four Tory MP Offices in Kitchener and Cambridge, ON: Seniors, Retirees and Supporters Demand That Tories Protect Public Pensions

KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 9, 2012) - A group of pensioners, soon-to-be pensioners, labour activists and supporters, angry at the Harper Government's announcement that it intends to cut Old Age Security (OAS) benefits, are presently occupying the Constituency Offices of four Conservative MPs in Kitchener and Cambridge, Ontario. They are among hundreds of other seniors, retirees, workers and family members who have resorted to holding sit-ins at 1:00 pm today in 21 Ontario Tory constituency offices, to demand that retirees and seniors be elevated out of poverty.

"Our government should be supporting retirees and seniors, not greedy corporations," said Len Carter, President of the Waterloo Regional Labour Council. "Harper is spending billions to reduce corporate taxes but he refuses to call on these same corporations to invest a fraction of their publicly-subsidized savings in pensioners. Only a minor increase in Canada Pension Plan contributions would double CPP benefits for all retirees and seniors."

The four Kitchener-Waterloo occupations are currently taking place in the following offices:

MP OFFICE OFFICE ADDRESS LEAD OCCUPIER TEL #
Hon. Gary Goodyear 1425 Bishop St North Unit 3, Cambridge Len Carter 519-239-7692
Peter Braid 22 King St. South, Waterloo Len Carter 519-239-7692
Harold Albrecht 153 Country Hill Dr, Unit 2A, Kitchener Len Carter 519-239-7692
Stephen Woodworth 12-300 Victoria Street North, Kitchener Orville Thacker 519-893-3974

Outraged constituents have resorted to occupying their local constituency offices to demand that Conservative Members of Parliament abandon plans to push back the OAS eligibility age from 65 to 67, or reduce pension benefits. Instead, they are calling for the Harper government to introduce modest increases to Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions that would double benefits for all retirees and seniors.

"There is no excuse for Prime Minister Harper to cut the meagre incomes of pensioners or consign the working poor to two more years of poverty. Nearly every economist and the government's own Parliamentary Watch Dog, Kevin Page, are forecasting the long-term sustainability of public pensions," said Ryan. "If Harper thinks that he can take on retirees and seniors in this country without a fight from the labour movement, he is sorely mistaken. Harper has touched the 'third rail' of Canadian politics and in doing so he has unleashed a labour and seniors movement of 'Blue-Grey Power' that is prepared to mobilize the public to defend the income security of the retirees of today and tomorrow."

For a full list of occupations currently taking place in Conservative MP constituency offices across Ontario, visit: www.OFL.ca

"We are bringing our frustrations directly to the office of our local MPs because the people in this community are outraged that our government representatives are betraying their own constituents," said Carter. "The Conservatives have no mandate to attack the retirement security of seniors and pensioners. Tory MPs are going to have a fight on their hands in their own backyards."

The OFL represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. OFL President Sid Ryan is the voice of Ontario's labour movement.

www.OFL.ca

www.Twitter.com/OntarioLabour

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Contact Information

  • Waterloo Regional Labour Council
    Len Carter
    President
    519-239-7692 (cell)

    OFL
    Joel Duff
    Communications Director
    416-707-0349 (cell) ENGLISH/FRENCH