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Watching the Standing Committee meeting discussing Bill 203. The former chair of AIMCo just spoke and now Gil McGowan about to start. #ableg
I didn’t see all of the AIMCo speaker, but he seemed to be defending AIMCo in what I did see. Anyone who in any way argues that teachers did not need to be consulted before Bill 22 and the forced transfer to AIMCo is biased. There is no justification for this. None. #ableg
Gil McGwoan says the focus of discssion on Bill 22 has been on teachers and ATRF, but there are 350,000 other Albertans whose pensions are affected. #ableg
Schow, of course, starts by telling McGowan that his language is “reprehensible” to say that the government is attacking teachers. One can only imagine how much of a finger-pointy lecture there would be to a female speaker. #ableg
UCP’s strategy here is clearly to attack the speaker if they criticize the government. #ableg
McGowan: if AIMCo is truly a world class pension fund manager, there should be no reason that the government has to legislate using it as a manager. With no option to exit AIMCo, there is less incentive to do well & more likelihood they will take their clients for granted #ableg
McGowan: because having access to workplace pensions has gone down, the importance of CPP has gone up. It is all that some people will ever have. It is all the more important to leave the money with a manager known to be doing well rather than transfer it to the unknown #ableg
Jason Stephan always sounds like he’s giving a sermon. McGowan continues to explain why joint governance of pensions is important. There need to be people on the board who are personally invested in having it do well. #ableg
McGowan: We don’t have to be experts to defend our plan. We hire experts to give us advice. #ableg
McGowan explaining to Stephan that the government and taxpayers are not ‘paying’ for the pensions. That is misinformation. Contributions are deducted from members’ paycheques, and their employer matches them as part of their compensation (deferred salary). #ableg
Deputy Minister of finance continuing with the false characterization that the pensions are funded by ‘taxpayers’. She has clearly been told exactly what UCP wants her to say. #ableg
She is acting like this whole Bill 22 thing is no big deal and basically represents ‘no change’. If that’s true, one wonders why it required legislation for no change? Or why it was rammed through in less than 3 days with basically no debate and the ‘premier’ out of town? #ableg
Again with the ‘taxpayer dollars’ argument. It’s OUR money, not the taxpayers’. #ableg
Christina Gray asking why the government did not do a detailed asset to asset comparison like ATRF did. Deputy Minister now trying to make excuses for why the government did not consult. She quotes someone saying ATRF is biased. #ableg
She says AIMCo is ‘more independent’ because UCP has repealed AIMCo’s ‘growth mandate’ that NDP put in place. Is that supposed to be a good thing? #ableg
R.J. Sigurdson now saying it’s “hypocrisy” and “a conflict” if the board doesn’t have “non-union” representatives . ??? #ableg
Christina Gray: Do you believe AIMCo cannot compete and its clients must be legislated in? #ableg
Justin Huseby of AUPE speaking now. Average LAPP pension is just over $1600 a month. Contributions are their own money and their employers. Pension plans *had* the option to divest from AIMCo. It ensured accountability to the clients. #ableg
Michaela ‘$50k Carbon Tax’ Glasco seems to have been ordered to ask everyone whether they agree that it’s important that pension board members be ‘competent’. #ableg
Huseby explaining to her that it is important for there to be joint governance, which Bill 22 stripped away.#ableg
Ms. Gray asks Huseby if there was any difference in service from AIMCo after Bill 27 (requiring joint governance)?
Huseby explains that contribution rates go down for employers and pension owners if the plan goes down.#ableg
Schow trying to insist that pensions are taxpayer funded. Huseby works at U of C. It is NOT fully taxpayer funded. The pension contribution from the employer is deferred compensation (in lieu of higher wages). Taxpayers are not contributing to the pensions. #ableg
Huseby: There was no consultation with AUPE prior to the passage of Bill 22. #ableg
UCP’s overall strategy seems to be:
-imply that union employees on pension boards were either biased or lacking competence or both
-insist that the pension money comes from taxpayers
-dismiss the importance of pension funds having the option to leave AIMCo
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