Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

June 14, 2010 12:51 ET

OFL Challenges Claims Made by CFIB CEO Catherine Swift

Polling Data Contradict CFIB Claims That Small Businesses Oppose Canada Pension Plan Reform

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 14, 2010) - More than two-thirds of small business owners believe good pensions are good for business says a poll released today by the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) and the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC).

The poll, commissioned jointly by the OFL and CLC, is being released today as Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty meets with provincial and territorial finance ministers in Prince Edward Island to discuss expanding the CPP.

"Weeks of cross-country public hearings federally and provincially have delivered a clear message: CPP must be retooled for the New Millennium," said OFL President Sid Ryan. "We're pleased that both Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan and Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty have publicly stated their support for expanding the public pension system."

According to the OFL-CLC poll, nearly two-thirds of small business owners believe that a public pension system like the CPP would improve competitiveness, providing relief from the costly, cumbersome and time-consuming process of administering small-scale private plans.

"Just like Canada's public health care system offers a competitive advantage for Canadian businesses, so too does a public pension system," said Ryan. "It saves businesses the overhead of administering their own pension plans for employees. Nobody understands this better than small businesses, especially those with small numbers of employees."

"The polling data we are releasing today directly contradict the claims made by Catherine Swift, CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses," said Ryan. "In fact, this poll tells a very different story. Small business owners know that money in the hands of retired consumers brings business through the door."

The polling data show that a majority of small business owners who also say the CFIB speaks for them, support raising premiums from about five percent (5%) of salary to about eight percent (8%) over seven years. "Far from being 'outrageous' as claimed by Catherine Swift, the majority of her members favour doubling CPP benefits for future retirees," said Ryan. "Clearly, small business owners support practical, affordable solutions to the looming pension crisis."

"The Ontario Federation of Labour applauds the leadership of Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan—and indeed—Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. Now is not the time to be de-railed by naysayers like Catherine Swift who appears to be out-of-step with her membership and Canadians," said Ryan.

For the complete polling report please visit: www.ofl.ca.

Contact Information

  • Ontario Federation of Labour
    Sid Ryan
    416.209.0066 (mobile)
    Ontario Federation of Labour
    Pam Frache
    Communications Director
    416.578.3472 (mobile)