How to create more seniors living below the poverty line

Dear editor,

Thought it might be time to share my thoughts, with my MP, regarding the proposed cuts to Canada Post.

Dear editor,

Thought it might be time to share my thoughts, with my MP, regarding the proposed cuts to Canada Post and the comments by its political appointed CEO, Deepak Chopra.

Then it came to me, why just Mr. Duncan? Let’s share.

The cuts are not in the best interest of the people working at Canada Post nor the Canadian taxpayers.

The decision to cut thousands of jobs from Canada Post will create another wave of unemployment in this country. The people who work at Canada Post make “a living wage.”

This enables them to purchase homes, pay their rent, buy cars, shop locally at locally owned businesses, donate to local charities, etc.

Once those salaries are gone, the impact on local business will be felt.

Where will these workers go? B.C. already has the highest rate of child poverty in Canada. Do the federal Conservatives plan to add to this number by laying off their parents?

In Comox,  the mail is delivered to the “community” boxes by the lowest bidder. Please explain how this improves the economic stability of our community.

What this smacks of is the Conservative’s continued attack on unionized workers.  We know the lowest bidder won’t be offering union wages or benefits.

We know when contracts go to the lowest bidder, wages won’t be much more than minimum wage. That is not good enough.

The politically appointed CEO of Canada Post had a salary for 2012 of $500,000. Because he did such a great job of increasing the deficient at Canada Post he was rewarded with a $200,000 bonus.

Most CEO are fired when this type of thing happens but not for Mr. Chopra, he gets a bonus. Then to assist him in all the hard work he does, he has 22 vice-presidents.

Not being up on their current salaries, it would not be unreasonable to conclude not one of them makes less than $300,000 with bonuses not unadjacent to $100,000 a year or more.

What was truly entertaining was, while announcing the cuts at Canada Post there was no mention of a corresponding cut to the vice presidents or upper management. Now it might be said, keeping the vice presidents is important.

If they were fired they might have to give up their perks, which

might include memberships to a variety of “clubs.”

While reading it was interesting to note, Mr. Chopra told a Commons committee, “Seniors are telling me I want to be healthy. I want to be active in my life. They want to be living fuller lives.”   Many seniors do want these things but walking to mail boxes during the ice storms Toronto is experiencing isn’t considered living fuller lives or getting quality exercise. It is taking one’s life in their hands and risking life and limb.

Most of Canada has snow and ice during the winter. Walking outside, especially if one is older, disabled, doesn’t have the necessary winter clothes, etc. isn’t a walk in the park or around the inside of the community centre.

People can fall, break hips, legs, arms, put their backs out, bang their heads, etc.

If Mr. Chopra is so concerned  about seniors’ health, perhaps he might do better at Health Canada. He might do well working on a program to increase free health care for seniors.

Mr. Chopra may find more fulfillment in working on affordable housing for seniors. Then of course, he might want to work on increasing the pensions of seniors in Canada. It would appear the country’s finance minister isn’t in a hurry to do that.

A career change for Mr. Chopra would be in order. He certainly isn’t doing well in his current position. Cutting jobs and services is not something this country needs at this time.

The rationale given for the impending layoffs is, Canada Post is running  a deficient and needs to save money. It should be pointed out that at one time Canada Post made money for Canadian taxpayers.

In fact, at one time they made $1 billion over a 20-year period.  Now for a “service” that isn’t bad.

Canada Post has attributed this deficient to retiring workers. It may come as a surprise to some of the high-priced help at Canada Post, but corporations know that when they have employees and a retirement plan, these employees will retire, and all things being equal, want to collect their pensions.

This pension plan didn’t just pop up last week. These employees weren’t hired last year. A pension plan of sorts has been at Canada Post for over 60 years at least.

This is a pension plan workers contributed to each and every paycheque. They entrusted this money to their employer, Canada Post to invest and ensure there was money to pay their pensions.

Now we hear that may not have occurred because Canada Post is saying workers need to go because they can’t afford the pensions.

Pray tell, Mr. Duncan, what does the government and Canada Post plan for these workers when they retire?

The Minister of Finance has no plans for improving CPP. New, lower-wage workers will not be able to save for their retirement.

In fact, by laying off workers to remove the financial obligation of pensions is another method of creating more seniors living below the poverty line. This simply is not constituent with good financial or social planning.

Might I suggest Canada Post find another CEO who is up to the challenges of running Canada Post; laying off 20 of the 22 vice-presidents, hiring a new CEO at $375,000, with no perks and no bonuses; keep the current postal workers; find a way to invest the pension contributions the postal workers make so there will be sufficient money available to them when they retire.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Please try to remember one in five children in B.C. live in poverty and on a national basis Canada isn’t doing that well in the child poverty department either. Laying off workers, who make a living wage, simply will add to this poverty.

E.A. Foster,

Comox

 

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