Mr. Speaker, I was pleased that the throne speech and the budget both mentioned the necessity of underpinning security and ensuring that social programs will be in place for future generations of Canadians.
The people of Durham expressed their concern for these programs, specifically the Canada pension plan, in three town hall meetings that I held recently.
They were very clear about the general direction of change. Most understood the shortcomings of the plan and how assumptions made in 1966 now significantly depart from reality. They wanted the assurance that changes would not affect those who have already made their retirement plans, the pensioners that are now receiving or soon to receive benefits.
They also took exception to governments, whether provincial or federal, assuming they could invest any reserve balances at their discretion to refinance their own deficits. They wanted the assurance that funds would be invested wisely at market rates, and they questioned the wisdom of allowing governments to make those decisions.
Canadians will continue to need a mandatory plan but the people of Durham want it managed better.