During an evening reception today, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) will present former Reform Party MPs Preston Manning, Werner Schmidt and Lee Morrison, with the CTF’s highest honour – the TaxFighter Award.
The three former MPs opted out of the gold-plated MP pension plan in 1993 and despite all attempts by the Chrétien government to get them to break their campaign promise and opt back in, all three held strong in opposition to the plan at that time.
“You often hear about the politicians who break their words, but you rarely hear about those who kept them,” said CTF President Troy Lanigan. “It’s important that we congratulate the good with the same vigour that we castigate the bad.”
The CTF estimates that Preston Manning would have been eligible for an MP pension of $66,602 per year, totalling $676,609 in forgone pension payments to date. The CTF estimates Werner Schmidt would have been eligible for an MP pension of $47,172 per year, totalling $324,996 in forgone pension payments to date. The CTF also estimates Lee Morrison would have been eligible for an MP pension of $38,560 per year, totalling $451,043 to date.
The CTF further estimates that the lifetime payments to Mr. Manning ($2,155,431), Mr. Schmidt ($758,026) and Mr. Morrison ($805,013), would combine for over $3.7 million in foregone payments.
“Many of us can claim to have contributed hours, days or years towards the fight to reform the gold-plated MP pension plan, but only three men can claim to have combined to contributed over $3.7 million in forgone pension payments,” continued Lanigan.
“These three men are truly heroes,” continued Lanigan. “We know that an award may not replace the money they have sacrificed, but we hope that it can inspire future leaders to learn from their example.”
In October 2012, MPs unanimously agreed to the most significant reforms ever made to the MP pension plan. Following the 2011 election, the CTF cranked up their campaign to reform MP pensions, releasing areport in early 2012, unveiling a billboard campaign from coast-to-coast, launching a 15-second digital ad in restaurant and fitness club washrooms in Toronto, and towing a 2,000 square-foot banner behind a plane that circled around Parliament.
Recipients of the CTF’s TaxFighter Award are nominated both internally and externally by CTF supporters and members of the public. This year’s recipients were selected by CTF staff and Board of Directors.