Despite howling from the Conservatives and the Fraser Institute, Ottawa and the provinces have reached a deal to expand the Canada Pension Plan. A short time ago, such an outcome seemed impossible. However, Canadian Press reports:
Following weeks of talks and an all-day meeting in Vancouver on Monday, finance ministers emerged with the agreement-in-principle.
Even provinces such as Saskatchewan and British Columbia, which had expressed concerns about the timing of CPP reform, had signed on. Only Manitoba and Quebec declined to agree to the terms.
The agreement came together as pollsters pointed to overwhelming popular support for public pension reform amid concerns about the adequacy of retirement savings.
The federal Liberals ran on platform to upgrade the public pension system, as did their Ontario cousins. The result also means Ontario will abandon its project to go it alone with its own pension plan.
Why such an abrupt change in the winds?
Sources familiar with the talks said doubters had concerns about the potential economic impact of boosting the CPP, even at the late stages of negotiations.
They said Ottawa made a major push in the final days and hours, which helped secure enough country-wide support to expand the CPP. To make the change, they needed consent of a minimum of seven provinces representing at least two-thirds of Canada’s population.
The sources also suggested Prime Minister Justin Trudeau himself was involved in the extra effort.
On top of that, Ontario, which had been moving forward its more-ambitious pension plan proposal, backed away from its earlier demands that CPP reform should be just as robust.
But, then, isn't that how democracy is supposed to work?