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A Fine line between a Legacy and an Epitaph - Mike MacBride

I wonder if the Alward government ever regrets having included retirees in its shared risk model.

It has been said that "Politics is the act of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and then applying the wrong remedy".

Boy, they sure seem to be following this definition in our case.

We know that the Alward government cannot and will not turn back. The chance for a legacy coupled with the apparent sheer stubbornness of the leader and perhaps the hoped for belief that the public might think that we are simply all 'living off the avails of the taxpayer' propels them.

With the election looming and all economic indicators heading south > they are in a difficult situation.

To me, the problem is not with our pension funds. Rather it is really with the Consolidated Fund and the inability to get it under control that has led to this problem. If the Consolidated Fund was balanced or > in surplus this issue might not have come up.

Since they cannot get out of deficit position, even with the tax increase this past July 1st [that I might add many pensioners are now paying out of their earnings] the incentive is still strong to cut us adrift.

It is one thing to delegate authority with respect to our funds, quite > another though to abdicate responsibility.

I have read many great letters on the subject on our website. The recent General Motors ruling, and the statement by the CUPE national leader are also encouraging and motivating.

I am sure that our committees are harnessing this information and reiterating what has been said before and perhaps a PR campaign is underway.

Paul Blanchet's recent letter does present a balanced and logical argument. The June 15th TJ Commentary should probably be restated.

I have come to realize that even though we live in the 21st Century there are still a lot of 'snake oil salesmen' out there and even worse some anxious buyers.

The shared risk model applied to retirees is the potion that they have purchased. It probably is not tasting as good as it did at first. I, like many retirees, look forward to this most pivotal month and the findings from the actuary, the legislation from the government and perhaps a legal update.

I thank our leadership for their great and tireless work.

There is a fine line between a legacy and an epitaph. Perhaps its just wishful thinking but I do think it will be the latter, unless they are big enough to reverse their position vis a vis the retirees, honour their contract, show some integrity, restore the trust and begin to govern in a fair manner.

Over the last few elections I have noticed that New Brunswicker's don't seem to vote parties in, but instead we vote them out. Perhaps the Liberals can just remain silent on this and still win. I do hope they take up our cause in their platform.

Mike MacBride