Dec 21, 2015

By Jane Brown

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Growing the economy and an expanded Canada Pension Plan are the priority issues as the nation’s finance ministers begin their talks today.

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau dined with his provincial counterparts in Ottawa last night ahead of today’s meetings.

Morneau says he wants to talk to the provinces about how to grow Canada’s overall economy as it struggles with low commodity prices.

He also hopes to get some agreement on enhancing the Canada Pension Plan.

“I’m hoping that we’ll start off by talking about economic growth, and challenges facing Canadians, and how we can work together in the spirit of collaboration to meet up with those challenges. CPP is one of the agenda items, and it’s one that we’ll try and get some consensus on,” Morneau explained.

Morneau needs two thirds agreement from the provinces in order to go ahead with reforming Canada’s national pension plan.

The push for CPP expansion has largely been led at the provincial level by Ontario’s Finance Minister. Charles Sousa says the biggest hurdle was the previous Federal government, which had no interest in even having it as an issue for discussion.

Sousa says the finance ministers meeting will determine whether Ontario chooses to focus on its own retirement pension plan (ORPP) or a new national plan.

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