Finance ministers discuss CPP expansion at Kananaskis conference

Finance ministers from across Canada converged in Kananaskis Country Sunday to meet with their federal counterpart and discuss the economy as well as find a new way for Canadians to save for their future.

However, one idea that has come up -- expanding the Canadian Pension Plan -- has already gained both supporters and critics.

The government should expand the Canadian Pension Plan, as the most reliable way for Canadians to count on an income in their retirement years, says the Alberta Federation of Labour.

"What we've seen over and over again, especially since the recession started, is that the private system of saving simply isn't working and the one pillar, the Canadian Pension Plan, is the only pillar that is strong enough," said AFL president Gil McGowan.

However, Alberta Finance Minister Ted Morton sees things differently and says he's opposed to raising the rates Canadians pay into the Canadian Pension Plan.

He said he would rather see people put more of their own money aside.

The federal government appears to agree, favouring private pension plans to an expanded Canadian Pension Plan, which is good news for Morton.

"Any changes to the CPP are under federal jurisdiction so it helps to have the federal government as an ally," Morton said.

Morton will need allies as the nation's finance ministers gather in Kananaskis this week to discuss the Canadian pension Plan.

Most of them like the idea of expanding it.

"People see it as the option that's safe, it's administered in a very financially sound way and when people have lost a lot of income with other investments and they're looking for a secure place, they feel Canada pension is the best place to make those investments," said Manitoba Finance Minister Rosann Wowchuk,

The future of the Canadian Pension Plan is just one of the items on the agenda for finance ministers on Monday but has already become the most controversial item., Mon Dec 20 2010

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