Letters to the editor – January 7, 2021

Alberta Pension Plan a good idea

I admit I’m not a great political guy.

I let our day-to-day politics pass over me like the next prevailing northwestern breeze.

But there has been a recent issue that defies logic and grace and only comes from a place of pure partisanship on both sides. To hear both the United Conservative Party and NDP speak on it, you’d think it is forced union membership.

I am talking of the Alberta Pension Plan.

Yeah, yeah, turn the page why don’t ya?

For a very, very small minority of us that spend our Saturday mornings delving into StatCan tables, the savings that can come from this are huge. I really do mean huge. But us dorks can scream from upon rooftops, “this is a huge deal,” to no avail.

From a financial standpoint there is no element of the Fair Deal/Firewall/Harper Letter that delivers a greater immediate benefit than the Alberta Pension Plan. This is not something that should be up for debate. It’s a fact. It’s not left or right or up or down. It just is.

Alberta is younger than the rest of Canada. We are 37 years old on average; Canada without us is 41. We contribute more on average to governmental pension plans than the rest of Canada. We contribute $1,863 per year while Canada without us throws in $1,676 per year.

The intent of this is not to throw a cleaver down at the border and separate us from the rest of the country. I only want to highlight the potential benefits that could come from this. It’s not a separatist issue. It’s not a UCP issue, nor an NDP issue, nor a who-knows issue. It’s math.

Creating a pension plan separate from the economic and, more importantly, demographic fortunes of the rest of the country grants us huge possibilities.

Do you want to argue that people making $40,000 or less and worked their entire lives are entitled to full APP benefits? Then let’s have that debate.

Do you want to argue that we should reduce premiums for those working full time and disproportionately put more cash in the hands of people working entry level positions? Then let’s have that debate.

There has to be space for us, as Albertans, to have a reasoned debate about what to do with our demographic lottery winnings. This is the real Alberta advantage.

There’s a lot of good that could come from it for all of us.

Adam Waterman,

Lloydminster

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