In a Press Release issued by the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) it is being reported that 2 Brampton Conservative MP Office’s are being occupied by protestors.
A group of pensioners, soon-to-be pensioners, labour activists and supporters, angry at the Harper Government’s announcement that it intends to cut Old Age Security (OAS) benefits, are presently occupying the Constituency Office of Conservative MPs Hon. Bal Gosal and Kyle Seeback in Brampton, Ontario.
The activists are among hundreds of other seniors, retirees, workers and family members who have resorted to holding sit-ins at 1:00 pm today in 21 Ontario Tory constituency offices, to demand that retirees and seniors be elevated out of poverty.
“Our government should be supporting retirees and seniors, not greedy corporations,” said Motilall Sarjoo, President of the Brampton-Mississauga and District Labour Council. “Harper is spending billions to reduce corporate taxes but he refuses to call on these same corporations to invest a fraction of their publicly-subsidized savings in pensioners. Only a minor increase in Canada Pension Plan contributions would double CPP benefits for all retirees and seniors.”
Outraged constituents have resorted to occupying their local constituency offices to demand that Conservative Members of Parliament abandon plans to push back the OAS eligibility age from 65 to 67, or reduce pension benefits. Instead, they are calling for the Harper government to introduce modest increases to Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions that would double benefits for all retirees and seniors.
The two Brampton occupations are currently taking place in the following locations:
|MP OFFICE||OFFICE ADDRESS||LEAD OCCUPIER||TEL #|
|Hon Bal Gosal||8500 Torbram Road, Unit 44, Brampton||James McDowell||416-587-8809|
|Kyle Seeback||160 Main Street South, Unit 29, Brampton||James McDowell||416-587-8809|
In the press release issued by the OFL, the labour activist are reporting that:
The Harper government’s recent threat to cut Old Age Security (OAS) benefits has inflamed a new movement of workers and pensioners, calling itself a movement of “Blue-Grey Power,” that is bringing the fight against the Conservative assault on retirement security directly to Tory constituency offices.
“Prime Minister Harper’s hypocrisy is stunning. He chose to announce his plans to cut Old Age Security in front of the one percenters in Davos, Switzerland when he knows full well that if he were to retire in 2015, he would have a Platinum-Plated, taxpayer-funded pension of $223,517 a year,” said OFL President Sid Ryan, from the sit-in taking place in Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s Whitby constituency office.
At 1:00 pm today, outraged pensioners, soon-to-be pensioners and supporters have resorted to constituency office occupations to demand that Conservative Members of Parliament abandon plans to push back the OAS eligibility age from 65 to 67, or make any reductions to benefits. Instead, they are calling for the Harper government to introduce modest increases to Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions that would double benefits for all retirees and seniors.
“By cutting Old Age Security, Stephen Harper is attacking the most vulnerable Canadians. The majority of seniors are living on $25,000 a year or less after paying a lifetime of taxes. OAS pensions are what pays for food and rent for seniors living on a fixed-income and it helps the others get by with a little bit of dignity,” said Orville Thacker, President of the Ontario Federation of Union Retirees (OFUR). “We are fed up with a government that seems committed to undermining basic rights and living standards at every turn. First Harper came after women’s rights, then he came after workers’ rights, and now he is coming after seniors’ rights. He’s about to learn the same lesson that seniors taught two Prime Ministers before him: if you touch seniors’ rights, you do so at your peril.”
“There is no excuse for Prime Minister Harper to cut the meagre incomes of pensioners or consign the working poor to two more years of poverty. Nearly every economist and the government’s own Parliamentary Watch Dog, Kevin Page, are forecasting the long-term sustainability of public pensions,” said Ryan. “If Harper thinks that he can take on retirees and seniors in this country without a fight from the labour movement, he is sorely mistaken. Harper has touched the third rail of Canadian politics and in doing so he has unleashed a labour and seniors movement of ‘Blue-Grey Power’ that is prepared to mobilize the public to defend the income security of the retirees of today and tomorrow.”
The Ontario Federation of Labour will be working with seniors groups and retirees to host town hall meetings in Ontario communities to provide an opportunity for the public to voice its opposition to the Conservative cuts to Old Age Security. The OFL represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario.