NDP presents petition with 70,000 signatures to support labour funds

Canadians are angry with Stephen Harper’s ideological attack on labour-sponsored savings funds, said the NDP’s Deputy Finance Critic Guy Caron, when he presented a nation-wide petition—with more than 70,000 signatures—calling on Conservatives to save the funds they have pledged to scrap.

“Labour-funds are the primary retirement savings of thousands of Canadians,” said Caron. “They also help small and medium sized businesses create jobs and are an essential source of venture capital for our economy.”

The Conservative government announced in its March 2013 budget that it was going to eliminate tax benefits for workers’ funds like Fondaction and the Solidarity Fund. That represents a $350-million hit on Canadians and the underlying economy.

Caron was joined by the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association. “By eliminating the federal tax credit, a critical piece of infrastructure may be stripped from the entrepreneurial and venture capital eco-system. This seems contrary to the Federal Government’s Venture Capital Action Plan which encourages capital amplification and enhanced “doors” for access to capital ”, said the Executive Director, Mr. Richard Remillard.

“The fact that the NDP’s petition has managed to rally more than 70,000 people proves that people are shocked by the Conservatives’ ideological approach to these funds,” said Caron. “Finance Minister Jim Flaherty must now do the right thing: step back and cancel this measure that will harm the Quebec and Canadian economy.”