Manitoba has joined the other provinces in working towards enhancing the Canada Pension Plan, though Premier Brian Pallister said the province’s agreement with the federal government includes additional research and analysis on several proposals it had set out at the end of June.

Manitoba had opted out of the agreement struck in Vancouver on June 21 by federal, provincial and territorial ministers. Its proposals include: considering low-income single seniors; indexation of the death benefit; a phase-in to the increase to the upper earnings limit; and a commitment to a comprehensive review of CPP benefits.

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“Our government proposed additional items for consideration by finance ministers which would make CPP not just bigger, but better as well,” the premier said in a statement. “We are very pleased by the support that these proposals have received from other jurisdictions and with the willingness of the federal government to conduct research and analysis to support their continued discussion.”

Pallister said the results of this research will guide further discussion on the proposals as part of both the next CPP triennial review and are to be included as an agenda item at the next finance ministers’ meeting.

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In a statement, Finance Minister Bill Morneau thanked Pallister and provincial finance minister Cameron Friesen for their contributions before, during and following the meeting in Vancouver. “I look forward to our on-going collaboration and discussions,” he said.

“I want to thank all my provincial and territorial colleagues for their important contributions to the future of the CPP and to the retirement security of current and future generations. We have truly shown that Canada works best when its governments come together in the interest of the people we serve.”

The agreement in principle now includes the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador. Quebec has agreen to remain part of the discussions moving forward in recognition of the unique nature of the Quebec Pension Plan.

All have agreed to work towards confirming the approval of their respective governments by July 15.

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