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Government of Alberta | Youtube

UCP Pauses Pension Proposal: Strategic Timeout or Tactical Retreat?

Finance Minister Nate Horner and Jim Dinning’s 'pause' on the Alberta Pension Plan rings less like a calculated delay and more like a hasty retreat

It’s like watching a lousy magician trying to pull a rabbit out of a hat that’s clearly empty. 

Alberta’s Finance Minister Nate Horner has hit the ‘pause’ button on Premier Smith’s ambitious yet dubious scheme to persuade Albertans to ditch the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) for a homegrown version

But let’s call a spade a spade: this pause smells more like a hasty retreat than a strategic timeout.

Recently, Minister Horner, in a somewhat deflated tone, announced the ‘pause’ in engaging Albertans on the Alberta Pension Plan (APP) under the guise of giving the chief actuary of Canada time to crunch some numbers. 

But the pause is more about licking wounds than awaiting calculations. 

The Real Reason for the Pause? 

Albertans have a nose for sniffing out a scheme that stinks.

Former Progressive Conservative Finance Minister Jim Dinning,  the spokesperson trying to sell the idea of an Alberta-run pension, has been met with skepticism thicker than Alberta’s famous beef stew. 

Dinning, sounding more disheartened than a cowboy who’s lost his horse, admitted the APP proposal faced stiff opposition from Albertans worried about the security of their retirement income.

Screen capture of the albertapensionplan.ca website

Let’s not forget the UCP’s creative math, claiming Alberta could waltz away with 53% of CPP’s assets. 

This claim has been laughed off the stage by everyone from economists to the CPP Investment Board. It’s like claiming you can jump over the Rocky Mountains with a pogo stick – ambitious, but delusional.

The UCP’s proposal, which has the subtlety of a bull in a china shop, isn’t just about pensions. 

It’s suspected that they fancy using the newfound ‘mythical’ wealth to try to bolster Alberta’s oil and gas industry, which has been trying to attract new capital to grow the oil sands since international investors pulled out over the last few years. 

That’s about as savvy a move as investing in VHS tape in the age of streaming. 

Dinning, in a rare moment of clarity, stated the obvious: Albertans can’t get behind a proposal that’s as clear as mud. They’re not just skeptical; they’re as trusting of this proposal as a cat is of a bath.

The UCP says they are pausing their ‘telephone town halls’ about the APP until asset transfer numbers come from the federal chief actuary. 

Let’s just say the expectations of Albertans of a 53% CPP lottery windfall are lower than the oil in a Leduc well.

Next Steps

In a cheeky turn of events, the UCP passed a law requiring a referendum before any CPP exit in order to appease Albertans. 

But there’s a catch – they don’t have to listen to the vote results. It’s like asking for your opinion and then plugging their ears. Classic!

So, the homegrown pension proposal is on ice, and Dinning’s reputation is hanging by a thread. 

The scheduled town hall meetings to push this plan? 

Cancelled, probably to avoid an angry mob of seniors armed with more than just harsh words.

In conclusion, Alberta’s plan to ditch the CPP is as popular as Justin Trudeau’s at a Ponoka rodeo. 

The horse the UCP is trying to flog isn’t just unwell; it’s practically in the glue factory. 

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