The PLQ the Cart and the

The PLQ, the Cart and the Oxen

There are growing signs that the Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ) is confused.

The latest has slipped under the radar: the incredible 180-degree turn he’s made on the issue of retirement age.

The law requires that a public consultation be held every six years in the parliamentary committee on the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP), its status and future.

Important exercise: our collective systems, like the QPP, are valuable and, in order to serve us long, must be adapted to new realities (aging, scarcity, etc.).

This type of advice can make it possible to counterbalance the bad reflexes of our democracies, such as short-term thinking.

The hearings began on February 8th. A large consultation document indicates that “raising the minimum age for eligibility for the QPP retirement pension could be a possible solution to the risks of inflation, longevity and returns”. We would live from 60 to 62 years.

QS and PQ immediately defend the idea; Motions asking the government to commit “not to push back the retirement age”.

In a press conference this morning, Liberal leader Marc Tanguay spoke of a “hugely important” consultation. When asked “Will you coordinate with QS and PQ?” the interim chairman was outraged: “That would put the cart before the horse”, because consultation must take precedence. He accuses QS of having too many “certainties” in this matter, of being dogmatic.

But a few hours later, the PLQ in the faction changes position. On February 14, in the plenary hall, Tanguay accused the government of only having thought of this option. He calls on the prime minister to “calm the workers, workers down”.

On Thursday Finance Minister Éric Girard indicated that he would most likely give up – he will announce in the March 21 budget – the attainment of the eligibility age.

The liberal financial critic Frédéric Beauchemin happily tweeted: “The CAQ has backed down and listened to our recommendation.” You have to have nerves of steel, don’t you? Less than 20 days ago, the Liberals were open to the idea of ​​turning back time, saying a reflection was needed, chastising the parties who flatly opposed it. Then triple backflip. And some time later even “our recommendation”!

When in power, the liberals step in – have they forgotten that? – for rigor and responsibility. In 2016 Finance Minister Carlos Leitão claimed that the transition from 60 to 62 was “inevitable” in the short term: “A person who retires at 60, for example, may have 25 years of working life left in normal times. It’s not like 50 years ago. We have to adapt!”

At the time, organizations like the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business applauded. Today, I am told, they would have liked the “old business party” to think a little before putting the cart before the horse.