TORONTO — Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador face the biggest pension risk among Canadian provinces due to large shortfalls in their pension funds, ratings agency Moody’s says.Moody’s said Thursday that Saskatchewan also has a large pension deficit, but noted it has closed its defined-benefit plans and takes a pay-as-you-go approach to funding them.“In both Quebec and in Newfoundland and Labrador, relatively large unfunded pension liabilities pose a challenge as they are likely to continue to rise for multiple reasons,” Moody’s analyst Michael Yake wrote in a report.The report said average asset returns have been lower since 2008-09, while the discount rates which are used to calculate liabilities have fallen and the average life expectancy of pensioners is rising.Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador had the highest ratio of unfunded liabilities to revenues at 55%, while Quebec stood at 49%, it said.Ontario was the best positioned as the only province with a small surplus.“We believe that credit risk tied to pensions is manageable because of the relatively small size of unfunded liabilities as a share of revenue and because we expect the provinces that are facing the highest liabilities to enact reforms,” Yake wrote.“If they do not, then credit risk could rise.”The provinces are not alone in facing the problem of underfunded pensions in the wake of the financial crisis.Several of the biggest names in corporate Canada also face deficits in their employee pension plans, forcing them to put millions into the plans.Canadian Pacific Railway, Canadian National Railway, Bell Canada, MTS Allstream, Canada Post and NAV Canada have all lobbied Ottawa in hopes of gaining some measure of funding relief for their pension plans.Air Canada struck a deal earlier this year to give it some help, but the relief came with rules that set limits on executive pay and prevent it from paying dividends to shareholders and buying back stock.
…on East Coast bribeShhhh! What a tangled, knotted web of snarled traffic ANSA McAL wove when they once again practised to deceive!!! Did you see shots of that traffic jam, which stretched from the UG Junction on the East Coast all the way to Vlissengen Road?? And the jam wasn’t just on the four-lane highway; desperate commuters and buses trying to get their passengers into “town” were forced into the surrounding village streets, scaring the dickens out of locals, who had never witnessed such scenes before.It was truly an illustration of “SNAFU”– which came out of endemic mass muddles during the last great war: Situation Normal – All F***ed UP!!! And it kinda summarises the quotidian situation in Guyana nowadays, doesn’t it??But yesterday’s traffic mess was special, not least because there was ABSOLUTELY no reason for it — except an opportunity for corporate bribery, which has come to typify almost every activity of this PNC-led APNU/AFC Administration.By now we all know the reason for the traffic jam: ANSA McAL wanted to erect an “Independence Arch” at the western approach to the city. Why? Well, as is the standard practice in this practice — which in the US is called “lobbying”, ANSA was showing “corporate responsibility” on our upcoming “50+1” Independence celebration. But hold it! Isn’t that on the 26th of the month?? Two weeks away??Well, as another aspect of its “corporate responsibility” — this one a bit broader that a payback to the Guyanese State for getting business, like $300M pharma contracts for $605M!! — it was hosting an event of its parent body in Trinidad THIS weekend at the Marriott. The Anthony N Sabga Caribbean Awards for Excellence, Arts & Letters, Science & Technology, Public & Civic Contributions and Entrepreneurship. Sabga was the founder of ANSA.Well, so who cares about the commuting public on the busiest thoroughfare in Guyana?? Who cares about the loss in productivity of thousands of companies? Who cares that CSEC students missed their exams?? Or UG students? Or folks missing flights? Hey!! ANSA has to show all those folks who came in for its Awards show how solid it is with the Guyanese Government. After all, its local Chairwoman was made Chair of the Board of the Government-owned Marriott!!Your Eyewitness wonders why the shill of the PM – the person in charge of “Public Information” — claimed it was “a local company” that caused the SNAFU, without naming ANSA?? And since when did ANSA stop being a Trini company?? Afraid the public would connect the dots??Hey!! Trotman, his AFC party leader, has already let the cat out of the bag about “political investments”!!!…on Govt “accomplishments”The PM’s shill — otherwise known as “Water Boy”, from when he was shilling for the WICB — wasn’t only in the news for his ANSA SNAFU coverup. He inserted a centerspread in three dailies — skipping this newspaper of course (snivelling Fascist!!) — bigging up “125 achievements” of the Government! It’s a shad, shad situation!! The fella just doesn’t get the first thing about PR.All he did was to remind folks about how far his Government’s fallen away from their promises!! Imagine beginning with “INCREASED SALARIES FOR PUBLIC SERVANTS”!!! Has he forgotten public servants were promised “SUBSTANTIAL RAISES” and the only “raise” they got was their “raised eyebrows” accompanying their howls of protest at the 50% salary raises the Cabinet awarded themselves!!??Next was “lower electricity rates”!! How lower was that after the 14% VAT the Govt imposed??!! Your Eyewitness is reminded of an old Paul Simon song, “50 ways to leave your lover”.The PM’s shill just gave 125 reasons for Govt supporters to dump its sorry a55 come 2020!!…on scholarshipsThe shill also boasted about “886 scholarships” awarded by the Government. We accidentally learnt that two of those scholarships — @ $3.6M each! – were given to sitting Ministers.Now that “mout’ open”, can we have the other names?? Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedMajor traffic jam on East Bank HighwayJune 3, 2019In “latest news”OPINION: EYEWITNESS: Bridge…September 4, 2019In “latest news”Woman reportedly gives birth in ECD traffic jamDecember 1, 2018In “Business”