Friday, February 27, 2009

National Consultations on Private Pensions

Mr. Ted Menzies MP.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Dear Mr. Menzies:

I understand that you will be conducting consultations across Canada on the legislative and regulatory framework for federally regulated private pension plans, and will be in Toronto on March 20, 2009.

I wish to participate in those discussions and to make a submission to you at that time.

Our association represents the interests of over 2.5 million Canadians who own income trusts and the over 75% of Canadians who are not members of defined benefit pension plans.

The matters of policy interest to our association are:

(1) We wish to understand how Canadians and the Canadian Public Capital Markets, benefit from the policy measures contained in your government’s Tax Fairness Plan, which tax income trusts that are Publicly Listed at 31.5% (and are subjected to restrictive growth provisions) whereas those self same income trusts if taken private are not? This has lead to a rash of takeovers of undervalued trusts held in RRSPs, by Private Pension Funds like OMERs, PSP, Caisse, etc. It has become a government exercise of robbing Peter to pay Paul, in which Peter is the average Canadian saving for retirement and Paul is the Government sponsored pension plans.

What is the policy intent of this? RRSPs are being placed at a profound economic and savings disadvantage, when RRSPs were originally set up by government to serve as the common man’s version of pension plans? How is this consistent with your stated policy goal of the Tax Fairness Plan, which ostensibly was to ‘level the playing field”?

(2) I wish to provide you with first hand information of the abuses of Pension Funds such as Ontario Teachers’ (OTTP) with respect to their use of mechanisms (McCague Holdings for example) designed with the sole intent of circumventing OTTP’s federal regulations, which otherwise restrict their voting ownership of Canadian corporations to 30% or less. This abuse arouse in Ontario Teachers’ proposed purchase of BCE Inc., which is a transaction that I opposed in interventions before the CRTC and the Supreme Court of Canada, on the very basis that this acquisition contravened the Pension Benefits Standards Act.

Please let me know the details of your trip to Toronto and the best time for a meeting with you and members of our association.

Thank you in advance.

Yours truly,

Brent Fullard
President and CEO
Canadian Association of Income Trust Investors

647 505-2224 (cell)

Cc. Hon John McCallum
Cc. Thomas Mulcair
Cc. Paul Crete
Cc. Elizabeth May


CAITI said...

Thank you for communicating with the Department of Finance Canada regarding the consultation on the legislative and regulatory framework for private pension plans subject to the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985.

The national consultations will begin in mid-March according to the following schedule:

March 13, 2009 - Ottawa
Time: 9:00am - 11:30am
Venue: Old City Hall
Address: 111 Sussex Drive, Ottawa ON
Meeting room: Victoria Hall

March 17, 2009 - Halifax
Time: 9:00am - 11:30am
Venue: Prince George Hotel,
Address: 1725 Market Street, Halifax NS
Meeting room: Regency Room

March 18, 2009 - Montréal
Time: 9:00am - 11:30am
Venue: Queen Elizabeth Hotel
Address: 900 René Lévesque Boulevard W., Montréal QC
Meeting room: Jolliet Room

March 20, 2009 - Toronto
Time: 9:00am - 11:30am
Venue: Fairmont The Royal York
Address: 100 Front Street W., Toronto ON
Meeting room: Confederation 5/6

April 14, 2009 - Vancouver
Time: 9:00am - 11:30am
Venue: The Westin Bayshore
Address: 1601 Bayshore Drive, Vancouver BC
Meeting room: Cypress Room

April 15, 2009 - Whitehorse
Time: to be determined
Venue: High Country Inn
Address: 4051 4th Avenue, Whitehorse YT
Meeting room: Ballroom A & B

April 16, 2009 - Edmonton
Time: 9:00am - 11:30am
Venue: The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald
Address: 10065 100 Street, Edmonton AB
Meeting room: Jasper Room

April 17, 2009 - Winnipeg
Time: 9:00am - 11:30am
Venue: Winnipeg Convention Centre
Address: 375 York Avebue, Winnipeg MB
Meeting room: Millennium Room

Dr Mike said...

Go get him Brent.

Reinstating trusts to their pre-Halloween 2006 tax level is the only reasonable solution to a worsening economic condition in this country.

Menzies position in the back pocket of the Finance Minister will put you at a disadvantage which I am sure you can overcome as you have the facts on your side.

Dr Mike Popovich

PS---having these meetings at a less luxurious set of digs than the Fairmont in TO could save the taxpayer a few bucks but I guess it is only taxpayer dollars so gives a flying flick.