OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb. 5, 2014) - Today, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair tabled a petition in the House of Commons on behalf of federal retirees who are worried that Treasury Board President Tony Clement will double their health insurance costs under the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP).
"The government is conveniently shifting public attention away from the issues that really matter," said Mr. Gary Oberg, President of the National Association of Federal Retirees (FSNA). "It has become politically convenient to attack a minority of Canadians while ignoring the urgent need to raise the bar on health care and retirement income security for all Canadians."
The petition, signed by thousands of federal retirees and their supporters, asks Treasury Board President Tony Clement to honour the promises made to federal retirees and to immediately stop plans that are detrimental to the retirement and health care security of any Canadian. Over 20,000 people have also signed an online petition at change.org. Electronic petitions are not accepted by the House of Commons at this time, though a recent NDP motion could change that in the future.
Coverage under the PSHCP in retirement is part of the compensation promised to federal retirees for their years of service to Canada. Media reports in July 2013 alerted federal retirees to the Treasury Board's alleged plans to proceed with non-negotiable changes to the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP) that would effectively double health insurance costs for federal retirees, including military and RCMP veterans. Changes could also make some federal retirees ineligible for health insurance coverage in their retirements.
Speaking on behalf of the Official Opposition at a media conference prior to the tabling of the petition, NDP Treasury Board critic and MP Mathieu Ravignat offered his support to federal retirees. "The Conservatives have to understand that they can't change the rules for federal pensioners overnight," said Mr. Ravignat. "We'll continue to pressure them to stop their attacks against the public service."
"This issue is about more than balancing budgets and ensuring the public service is affordable for Canadians," says Oberg. "This is about honour, and it is about whether or not the Government of Canada will meet the moral obligations it has - and honour the promises made - to its retired employees and veterans regarding their compensation."
FSNA is the largest national advocacy organization representing over 186,000 active and retired members of the federal public sector. Our members include federal public servants, veterans of the Canadian Forces and the RCMP and federally-appointed judges, as well as their partners and survivors. FSNA is a not-for-profit association with 83 branches across Canada that is focused on elevating retirement income and health care security for all Canadians. Even in retirement, Canada's public servants and veterans are proud to continue to serve Canadians.