Canada’s finance ministers met in Meech Lake, Que., on Sunday and Monday but were unable to come to an agreement regarding an enhancement to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).

“There was no consensus today on expanding CPP,” said Minister of State for Finance Kevin Sorenson.

He added that families and the economy can’t afford a hike in CPP payments and that it would force employers to cut jobs, hours and wages.

“Now is the time for fiscal discipline,” Sorenson said. “Now is not the time for CPP payroll tax increases.”

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa was not happy with the outcome, blaming the federal government for not moving forward on the issue.

“I’m very disappointed that they used stall tactics in order to ensure that CPP enhancement wasn’t even considered at this point in time,” he said.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) was pleased with the results and said small businesses were breathing a sigh of relief.

“While we’re not out of the woods, we are pleased ministers did not conclude that the time is right to raise CPP payroll taxes on Canadians and their employers,” said CFIB president Dan Kelly. “However, it is clear that this threat is not going away.”

However, not all lobbying groups were pleased with the decision.

“This was their chance to improve retirement security for a generation, and the finance ministers dropped the ball again,” said Susan Eng, vice-president, advocacy, for CARP. “It is clear that the federal government refused to accept the consensus of the provinces.”

Related articles: