HAMILTON EAST – After reaching out to the provincial government, the SCRG, a Sears Canada retiree association, has not yet been able to meet with Premier Kathleen Wynne to discuss several proposals that could potentially save Sears pensions. Seeing as the Sears Canada pension plan is registered in Ontario, the Ontario Provincial Government has a great deal of power to determine the future of Sears employees. In response to the Premier’s inaction, New Democrat MPP and pension critic Paul Miller asked the premier to give SCRG time to meet.
Premier Kathleen Wynne Room 281, Main Legislative Building Queen’s Park
Dear Premier Wynne,
I am writing to you on behalf of Ontario New Democrats to urge you to meet with Sears Canada Retiree Association (SCRG) to discuss pressing concerns with the Sears Canada pension plan. SCRG represents 16,000 Sears pensioners across Canada, many of whom reside in Ontario.
The recent bankruptcy of Sears Canada Inc. and the closure of over a hundred Sears locations has put nearly 12,000 Canadians out of work. To add to the stress Sears employees face in the wake of losing their livelihoods, the Sears Canada pension plan is underfunded to the tune of $270 million. Sears employees and pensioners are rightfully concerned that they will not see the full pension benefits they were promised. Pension benefits are deferred wages and Sears pensioners deserve the benefits they have worked their whole lives for.
Given that the Sears Canada pension plan is registered with FSCO this is a matter of provincial concern. FSCO was responsible for the plan’s oversight while it moved into an underfunded position, leaving plan members vulnerable. SCRG has approached both your office and FSCO to propose legitimate relief mechanisms for hardworking pensioners. It is time that you stop stalling and start listening to their concerns! I urge you to meet with SCRG and work with Sears pensioners to come up with meaningful solutions so that pensioner won’t suffer from inaction.
Paul Miller, Hamilton East-Stoney Creek