Breakenridge: Fed's financial assertion nudges CPP towards extra investments in Canada

One of many strongest arguments in favour of the CPP is simply how a lot success has been borne of its technique of pursuing the best return

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Within the notorious interrogation scene between Joker and Batman within the movie The Darkish Knight, there’s a memorable line because the villain reacts incredulously to an accusation that he needs demise upon the hero. “I don’t wish to kill you,” he declares. “What would I do with out you?”

To not indicate that there are essentially heroes and villains in Canadian politics, however there are definitely examples of symbiotic relationships between arch-rivals (even when the contributors are far much less candid about it). Working example: Justin Trudeau and Danielle Smith.

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For as a lot as Smith and the UCP would welcome the Liberals’ demise, they know deep down of their hearts that they’d even be dropping a political asset. Conservative Alberta premiers have lengthy benefitted from having a Liberal foil in Ottawa and that’s very true when that Liberal prime minister is as deeply unpopular as this one.

We noticed earlier this yr how the awkward rollout of the “Simply Transition” proved to be a political present to the UCP simply as they have been heading into an election marketing campaign. And now because the UCP’s push for leaving the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) appears to be faltering, it’s Trudeau to the rescue as soon as once more.

Not like the campaigns towards varied different federal insurance policies, it’s confirmed rather more tough to hyperlink the CPP to Trudeau. Albertans might not belief Trudeau, however they perceive that he’s not the one making funding choices for the CPP. Or, he shouldn’t be.

Enter final week’s Fall Financial Assertion. Misplaced amid the protection of the appreciable federal deficit and the assorted spending bulletins was a curious assertion of intent with regard to the CPP.

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Regardless of earlier assurances from Ottawa that the CPP is and at all times will probably be free from political interference, the federal government appears to have determined that, nicely, possibly just a little interference isn’t so dangerous in spite of everything.

The financial assertion proposes to tug the CPP away from its present mandate of prioritizing one of the best return on its investments. As a substitute, the federal government now hopes to nudge the CPP towards making extra investments in Canada.

If there are wonderful funding alternatives available in Canada, then the CPP Funding Board would hardly want route from the federal authorities. If the federal government is just intending to extend Canada’s funding attractiveness, then there’s no purpose to hyperlink that particularly to pension funds.

It’s more likely that this federal involvement would have a heavy political bent to it, with these “funding alternatives” conveniently lining up with pet tasks, favoured industries, and strategically worthwhile areas.

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This needs to be of concern to all Canadians, not simply Albertans. One of many strongest arguments in favour of the CPP is simply how a lot success has been borne of its technique of pursuing the best return.

But when that’s now not going to be the technique, then Albertans may begin to suppose otherwise about this complete concern. There’s an comprehensible attachment to the thought of an impartial CPP with a sterling funding observe report. Conversely, there’s certain to be a substantial quantity of unease with the thought of CPP property turning into some form of political slush fund.

It’s very a lot on model that this prime minister would support the forces in Alberta that want to go away the CPP whereas on the identical time making it identified that he doesn’t want to see Alberta go away.

Thoughts you, the premier herself has mused about her authorities having a say within the investments of an Alberta Pension Plan, so the inevitable assaults on the brand new federal coverage is perhaps coated in some hypocrisy.

The prime minister certainly is aware of the stakes of Alberta exiting the CPP. Why they might select now to think about meddling with the CPP is really baffling. It’s extraordinarily unlikely that this was meant as a lifeline to the UCP’s floundering efforts, however that may nearly certainly be the tip outcome.

“Afternoons with Rob Breakenridge” airs weekdays 12:30-3 p.m. on QR Calgary

[email protected]

X: @RobBreakenridge

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