Question asked to the Government on October 7, 2011, about protection of pension plans

Ms. Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet (Hochelaga, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the truth is that in the last quarter stocks fell 12%. Private pension funds were hit extremely hard. We know that pooled registered pension plans do nothing to protect Canadians when the stock market plummets.

We need a stronger public pension plan. Canadians and provincial leaders across the country are demanding basic retirement security. The Canada pension plan can provide this by generating larger and more stable investment returns.

Will the government stop gambling with the future of Canadians and strengthen CPP?

Mrs. Shelly Glover (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, CPC): Mr. Speaker, CPP reforms continue to be examined by ourselves and provincial governments, but I want to note that many provinces share the concerns of small businesses and others if we increase costs during a fragile global recovery.

I want to cite something that was said during the election by Catherine Swift, president and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, when she was talking about the NDP's suggestion to double CPP. She said: “That would mean probably about a 60 to 70 per cent increase in premiums from what we understand”.

That was very, very worrisome. So any tax breaks that were in the NDP platform were grossly outmatched by what it was going to ding--