Those of us capable of casting a critical eye on the Prime Minister are well aware of his capacity for rhetorical flourish. Unfortunately, that flourish is often an end in itself. Concrete action and legislative initiatives rarely follow. And frequently that rhetorical capacity escapes him when he has no answer to the question. There were several examples of this last week in Davos. Today's post deals with one of them.
At a press conference in Davos, Switzerland, Thursday, Trudeau suggested that laid-off Sears workers, many of whom had counted on their company pensions for their retirement, fall back on employment insurance and the Canada Pension Plan.A followup question was posed, which you can watch below starting at about the 2:25 mark:
Asked by Globe and Mail bureau chief Bob Fife what his government would do about the fact Sears left its pensions underfunded while doling out millions in bonuses to execs, Trudeau gave a vague response.
"Canada continues to support people going through difficult times," Trudeau said. "Obviously pensioners who face uncertainty need to be supported, need to be reassured. That's why Canada has measures like the Canada Pension Plan, like employment insurance benefits — a broad range of ways we can support people who are facing unexpected downturns or layoffs."
"So nothing is going to happen to Sears," Fife responded.
The Prime Minister says that the Sears situation doesn't have any easy answers. How about a legislative fix to provide pension protection during bankruptcy proceedings, Mr. Trudeau, so that this sad situation doesn't happen again and again and again?