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ONTC GCA calls on Liberals to come clean on mismanagement of pension fund

Wednesday, August 08, 2012   by: Kate AdamsONTC General Chairperson’s Association
News Release

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Representatives from the General Chairperson’s Association (GCA) which represents all unionized employees at Ontario Northland (ONTC) are alarmed by recent admissions made by Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan to the Standing Committee on Estimates concerning the ONTC Pension plan.

Minister Duncan is recorded in July 19, 2012 Hansard as saying, “The [ONTC] pension has been horribly mismanaged and underfunded; that’s true. It’s completely mismanaged. That is one of the reasons we’ve had to take the moves we have. It’s unfortunate that there hasn’t been a more responsible management of that particular pension”

“Minister Duncan and his government have absolute control over the ONTC and every decision, from pension funding, to infrastructure spending, to bus routes changes requires
approval of the Cabinet over which Minister Duncan is Chair. To say we are rocked by his repeated admissions of his Government’s mismanagement of our Pension Plan is an
understatement,” said GCA spokesperson Brian Kelly.

Minister Duncan went on to say “the employee contributions and the employer contributions have been way below what are necessary to make it sustainable. That’s another part of the mismanagement, in my view, that’s gone on there”

“The GCA and Ontario Northland pensioners did not support McGuinty’s withdrawal of $47.8M from the Pension Plan in 2003, let alone the pension fund contribution holiday imposed by the Ontario Government. As a result of those Cabinet Orders, the ONTC pension plan like many others in the province are reported as underfunded, however Minister Duncan informs us that the poor state of the ONTC Pension plan is the result of complete mismanagement’, added
Kelly.

“We call on Minister Duncan to force his government to come clean as to who is truly responsible for the horrible mismanagement and underfunding of the Pension Plan. ONTC
employees, retirees and their surviving spouses need to know the whole truth, even if it requires a public inquiry to do so” concluded Kelly.

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