Canadian Federation of University Women


Report of Visit to Karina Gould M.P.

  • 03 Jan 2018 3:11 PM
    Message # 5658170
    Deleted user

    Meeting with Karina Gould November 24th 2017

    Present: Karina Gould MP, Rosemary Gagan - Chair CFUW Advocacy, Eleanor Christie, Marianne  Singh, Wairish, Judy Goodings

    Rosemary introduced the CFUW mission statement and the two new resolutions.  On the Water Issue on First Nations' Reserves, Karina stated that progress was being made with some individual  groups but others had new problems so overall there was little statistical progress.  Generally improvement on the Reserves is slow because of the lengthy consultation process that is necessary.  She felt there was a lot of support for Universal Pharmacare and the government would begin buying drugs as a country rather than province by province in order to cut costs.  However Universal Pharmacare will not come about in this mandate.

    She would not commit to an extension of time or money for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women's Inquiry. She explained the difficulties: the lack of a unified FN response, differing levels of competence and varied local conditions.  500 years or problems and mistrust cannot be fixed in a year.

    We thanked the government for initiating a national housing policy with a rollout of rent subsidies, repair of existing housing stock, etc.  We realize it will take time to get buy-in from the provinces and to formulate agreements for the long term but this is a step in the right direction to provide a basic right for the most vulnerable in our society.

    Marianne introduced the issue of pensions with a thank you for the expansion of the CPP.  Karina though this was the greatest accomplishment of the government thus far.  We noted the situation of Sears employees as an example of unfair treatment when a company goes bankrupt.  We suggested that companies should pay the deficits in their pension plans before allowing dividends.  Karina replied that the pension regulations are shared with the provinces and private corporations do not fall under the federal government's mandate.  Companies make immense profits at the expense of their employees who need more government protection.

    This brought us to the case of Bill C27.  The public service has traditionally had defined benefits pensions.  Stephen Harper introduced legislation to change this to defined contribution pensions.  During the election campaign, Trudeau promised to change this.  Morneau's company effected this change  for the government of New Brunswick and his company clearly would benefit from this change, if it were to happen for the federal government.  Karina pointed out that now Bill C27 was stalled.

    Tax reform was next on our agenda.  We pointed out that by increasing taxes for professionals and small businesses - which caused an uproar - the government had plucked the low hanging fruit and that it needed to increase taxes for the very wealthy.  The Panama and Paradise papers have demonstrated the means by which the wealthy can avoid paying their fair share of taxes and the government ought to close these loopholes.  Karina replied that the CRA was in fact looking at this matter.  500 million dollars was allocated to the CRA to recover tax revenues.

    We also discussed the refugee issue, in particular, the possibility of a large influx of Haitian refugees who do not realize that not crossing  at the border is not a free ticket to Canada.  The government is considering many options but is trying to accommodate as many as are qualified. Some countries are hard to get refugees out of - Turkey   is one country where some supported refugees seem to be stuck. The government is unable to facilitate the process. 

    We thanked Karina for her time spent with us

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