Government cuts $20M from MUN pension plan
For the second time in less than a month, Memorial University has received a financial blow.
The Newfoundland and Labrador government will not make a $20-million contribution to assist MUN with its pension obligations.
The money would have helped shore up the university's pension fund for the long-term.
In early May, as part of government's 2015 budget, Memorial was informed of a $20-million cut to its operating grant.
In the House of Assembly on Thursday, Justice and Public Safety Minister Darin King spoke on behalf of Advanced Education Minister Clyde Jackman, who is out of the country.
King told the legislature that it's "not about kicking the problem down the road."
"It is about taking the challenges head-on this year and recognizing that there is a $20-million problem to solve," he said.
"If we wanted to play politics, we could simply pay the money this year, get through an election, and then break the news to them that there is a $20-million problem."
King said there were "significant discussions" about trying to right-size the budget of Memorial University.
"These are challenging times and in this particular case, the pension plan of Memorial belongs to Memorial and its employees," he said.
"And we felt that at this point in time, given the budget predicament we're in, it's not fair to put that on [the] backs of the taxpayers of the province."
The provincial government has contributed more than $120 million to Memorial University's pension plan since 2005.
It is currently 90 per cent funded.