Charlie Angus has called on Prime Minister Trudeau to take action in light of the news that Finance Minister Bill Morneau retained his shares in the pension management company founded by his father and could be making up to $143,000 a month in dividends, using a shell company to skirt the edges of conflict of interest rules and to administer his profits.
Specifically, Angus is calling on the Prime Minister to withdraw Bill C-27, a bill that would make it easier for companies to withdraw from defined pension benefit plans. Such a move could greatly advance the financial interests of Morneau Shepell.
Speaking in the House, Angus challenged the Prime Minister to explain this conflict.
“The boss at Morneau Shepell told investors in 2013 that legislation was required to go after defined pension benefits and, voila, he introduced Bill C-27. Morneau Shepell told investors this legislation would be a game-changer. The Prime Minister is talking about a gold standard of ethics. Gold for who, for the finance minister, who is now making $150,000 a month? A blind trust will not cut it. Will the Prime Minister withdraw Bill C-27, and his finance minister's blatant attack on the pension benefits of Canadian workers?”
Earlier this week, the NDP called for legislation and action to protect Sears workers whose pensions are at risk from the company’s bankruptcy. But now it has come to light that Morneau Shepell has been given the contract to oversee the pension plan. Angus says the conflict of interest is evident.
“Bill Morneau is the privatized pension king of Canada and he is the driver’s seat of government decisions that leave workers’ pension plans at risks. This is unacceptable. Putting his immense wealth in a blind trust won’t cut it. We need the Prime Minister to take clear action to put the interests of Canadian workers ahead of the narrow interests of the investors at Morneau Shepell.”