Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Conservative Leader Stephen Harper are ramping up their war of words over the Liberal government's new provincial pension plan.
As Wynne was unveiling details of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan in Toronto, Harper went out of his way to slam the idea as "an enormous tax increase" during a campaign event in nearby Markham.
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After answering questions from reporters — none of them about the ORPP — Harper returned to the microphone to raise the issue, saying he was "delighted" that Ottawa's refusal would make it more difficult for Ontario to implement the pension plan.
"I am delighted to see, quite frankly, that our refusal to co-operate with the imposition of this tax is making it more
difficult for the Ontario government to proceed," Harper said. "We're going to continue to fight it."
Harper said it would be bad for the economy and bad for jobs, noting small businesses have warned they'll have to cut jobs to meet the extra costs of a new pension plan.
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Wynne admits she doesn't know how much it will cost to create and administer the provincial pension plan without any help from the federal government, but she vows to proceed.
The premier said people aren't saving enough for retirement, and adds that Harper's refusal to enhance the Canada Pension Plan left Ontario with no choice but to create its own.