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Letter to Premier Alward from Susan Currie

Dear Mr. Alward

This morning on the CBC you indicated that you and the other Atlantic premiers were asking the Prime Minister to hold off on their proposed changes to EI as they had not properly consulted the provinces and had not done the research to study the impact of the changes on both individuals and the broader economy.

You indicated that you were motivated by the fact that it is your job to support the citizens of NB and you called on the federal government to “do the right thing”.

I support your efforts to hold the federal government to account on this issue.

However, I am disappointed that you do not hold yourself and your government to the same standard when it comes to dealing with public service retirees and your efforts to force us into a Shared Risk Pension Plan.

You have not consulted with retirees and you have not lived up to your word that entering into a SRPP would be on a voluntary basis. 

I would encourage you to hold yourself and your government to the same standard of behaviour that you are insising from the Prime Minister – do the right thing. 

As you know from the Court’s decision in the Quinn case, you should not be moving retroactively to change retirees rights and benefits (including COLA).  Changing the Pension Benefits Act to provide yourselves with immunity from the consequences of doing something that is both illegal and unethical is shameful, and I believe that you know exactly how wrong such actions are, regardless of how many lawyers tell you that you can get away with it legally. 

Please honour your contracts with the retirees and if you feel you must move forward with the SRPP for current employees (and they are willing to agree to that), do the right thing and grandfather the retirees.  Thank you for your time.

Susan A. Currie