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All Over New Brunswick, Pensioners Say “No” to Alward Plan

(Press Release by Coalition today)

Even in Premier Alward’s own riding, retirees are banding together to resist cutbacks to their pensions.

Pension Coalition NB held meetings last week in Woodstock and Edmundston.  In total, 400 pensioners came out in these areas to hear about planned changes to their pensions.  This is in addition to the 750 new members who registered with the Coalition last week, following meetings in the greater Saint John and Moncton areas.

New meetings are scheduled for Campbellton and Bathurst on April 9th and Dieppe on April 12th.  Coalition Co-Chair Bill Ayer urges pensioners to come out and attend these meetings.

He said pensioners he met at last week’s meetings were outraged.  “They told us the pension fund belongs to them because they have contributed their fair share to it.  They insisted government cannot just ignore this fact and walk away from its responsibilities.”

Ayer added pensioners told him they continue to make a valuable contribution to the economy. “Through their taxes, consumer spending and, perhaps most importantly, through their essential volunteer work in schools, hospitals, service clubs and so on, pensioners are an extremely valuable resource to the New Brunswick economy,” he said, “and they must be respected as such.”

He said the lack of consultation and information on the new model shows that government neither respects nor appreciates its former employees. 

“Where is the data that shows this plan to be the way forward?  If it’s such a good deal, why all the secrecy surrounding the calculations?” asks Ayer. “The lack of information is disturbing, especially when we know that even the government MLAs have not been privy to the data.” 

Ayer urges pensioners to come out to the next round of information sessions, to visit the Coalition website at www.pensioncoalitionnb.ca or to call toll-free at 1-855 455 7982 for more information.