Despite the legal threats of unions and the protests of public workers, Quebec’s controversial pension reform measure passed into law Thursday.
The law, Bill 3, mandate that workers contribute a higher percentage of their paychecks to their pensions. In short, they split the bill 50-50 with municipalities.
More details from CBC:
The bill was passed on Thursday morning at the National Assembly by a vote of 85-28.
The law will force municipal workers and retirees to contribute more to their pensions to offset a $4-billion pension fund deficit.
Liberal Premier Philippe Couillard defended the reforms during question period in the National Assembly.
“In Quebec, we don’t spend more than what we have,” he said.
“The reality of catching up — there are millions of dollars to get back. We’re doing it with courage, we’re doing what was supposed to be done before. And why are we doing it? We’re doing it for today’s Quebecers and the next generations to whom we want to pass on a Quebec in good financial health,” Couillard said.
Members of the opposition parties groaned when Couillard said the move was to overcome a $5.8-billion deficit.
Municipal Affairs Minister Pierre Moreau’s reforms passed with just two amendments to the bill.
One was to take some of the burden off retirees when it comes to paying off the deficit.
The second gives municipal workers’ unions and the province more flexibility in contract negotiations.
Bill 3 can be read here.