Disagree with Financial Post writers who recommend taking CPP at Age 70

I agree with the “Retire Happy” website which suggests Canadian retirees should start their CPP pensions sooner rather than later. However, that is not the position in a recent Financial Post column by Lisa Bjornson and Fred Vettese of Morneau Shepell’s Retirement Solutions. Essentially, they recommend deferring a CPP pension benefit to age 70.

As a retiree, I disagree for at least two reasons:

  1. The retiree’s health — The first reason I disagree is that when a person applies for their CPP benefit should be based on their state of health because a retiree’s health is usually better between age 60 and 69 than between 70 and 80.
  2. The retiree’s source of retirement funding —  The second reason I disagree is based on how a retiree is funding his or her own retirement. In their column, Bjornson and Vettese are assuming a self-funded retirement using RRSP savings as opposed to an employee defined pension benefit (such as that received by teachers, nurses, police officers, fire fighters, government workers, auto workers, etc.)

Assuming a self-financed retirement, Bjornson and Vettese suggest that a retiree can receive $72,000 more for a CPP pension started at age 70 rather than age 60 or 65. Sounds good so far. However, if a person waits until age 70, when health problems usually start in earnest, what was the point of waiting for a few dollars more? What puzzles me, however, is that Bjornson and Vettese seem to think that waiting until age 70 means a significantly higher CPP pension.

They estimate, for example, that a person qualifying for a maximum CPP pension (which is $1,092.50 right now) would, allowing for cost of living increases, go up to $2,056.00 a month in ten years. Clearly, that estimated amount is unrealistic. I know of people who have been collecting a maximum CPP pension over ten years and it has only increased between $100.00 and $200.00.

Anyway, at the time I retired I got the opposite advice from what Bjornson and Vettese are giving because of what is known as the age 65 CPP reduction or CPP bridge, for those receiving a defined pension benefit from a former employer.

Specifically, if someone is able to retire at age 60 with a defined pension benefit, he or she can receive their entire employer pension and their entire CPP benefit for 60 months. However, at age 65, the amount (or a similar amount) of their CPP is deducted from their employer’s pension. Using the Bjornson and Vaterre example, $713.00 a month over 60 months amounts to $42,780.00.

It really is a bonus and while it is not $72,000, it is still good deal of money at a time when most retirees are still healthy. For example, if your employee pension is $3,000.00 a month before taxes, and your CPP is $713.00 a month, your retirement income from age 60 to 69 is $3,713.00 a month.

Then, in the month following your 65th birthday, that income is reduced to approximately $2,287.00 (the exact amount of the CPP or a similar amount) plus the ongoing $713.00 a month from CPP for a total retirement income of $3,000.00 a month. Of course, at age 65, retirees also qualify for the Old Age Pension (OAS), currently $578.53 a month (slightly more than the $570.52 stated in the link), can partially make up the difference.

Of course, if someone retires at age 65 with a defined pension and their CPP, they won’t notice anything unusual because the the CPP reduction has already been accounted for and they can have the OAS is they qualify for that benefit.

The crux of the matter is that I disagree strongly with Bjornson and Vettese because I believe retirees should start their CPP pensions at the earliest date possible — when they are the healthiest.

Beware Trudeau sneaky vote re Motion 103 on Islamophobia

Apparently Canada’s governing Liberals are going to try to hide their vote on Motion-103, the Islamophobia motion that tries to shut down any debate or criticism about Islam.

Why? Because M-103 is coming back to the House of Commons for debate this week, just before the Liberal federal budget is tabled. Meaning, that any news coverage on the final vote of M-103 will be swamped by budget coverage.

How do I know this? I got an email this morning from CPC Leadership Candidate Pierre Lemieux and I paraphrase three questions from his letter: (1) Do you have a valid concern about Islam, (2) Do you disagree with Sharia Law, and (3) Are you uneasy about radical Islamic terrorism? I would answer yes to at least Questions 2 and 3.

Yet, as Lemieux goes on to write: “The Liberals voted down all amendments to that Motion and now M-103 is coming back to the House….Once the debate ends tomorrow, it [the Liberals] will move to an immediate voice vote. If Conservatives do not “stand five” MPs to force a formal recorded vote, then we will never know who voted for or against M-103.

Well, Canada, you voted for these Liberals. It is not hard to see that this M-103 is simply the preamble to something bigger and more dangerous. And, no, that concern is not paranoia or Islamophobia. For example, the President of Turkey recently told Turks living in the EU to expand their families, so that in time, they would be the majority.

And, as a majority in Europe or elsewhere, what would that mean? There is an Arab folk tale about the camel and the master.  At the start, the master is sleeping in the tent and the camel is outside. By the end of the story, the camel is in the tent and the master outside.  And, we all know what that metaphor implies.

The crux of the matter is that Liberal MPs should not pass this Motion because ultimately it, and any decisions related to it, makes Islam more important and relevant than the Judeo-Christian values and system of law upon which this great country was founded.

Is political correctness destroying diversity of thought in the West?

Whether in Canada or the U.S., liberal politicians and their supporters, particularly those in the mainstream media, love to tell us what to think and how to feel about just about everything. Well, I for one, am sick and tired of it. Take for instance:

Kellie Leitch: In Canada, Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch is being criticized and ridiculed for a video her leadership campaign put out that suggests all refugees and immigrants entering our country, should be screened for Canadian values. In fact, by making this view part of her leadership campaign, she is seen by some of her colleagues and the media as an extremist. Yet, a Radio Canada poll showed that 74% of Canadians surveyed agreed with her.

Motion103: M103 is an Ottawa House of Commons Private Member’s motion that essentially says Canadians should never be allowed to publicly question or criticize Islam. Yet, as far as I know, an Imam at a Toronto mosque has not been condemned for calling for the killing of all Jews. There is also the fact that the Toronto Public School Board allows Muslim prayers in secular public schools even though Christians have not been allowed to do so for decades.

Feminism: Feminism as it is preached today covers only half of the female population — those who believe it is their reproductive right to destroy a fetus that is growing within their bodies. Yet, when I came of age in the 1960s, the fight for reproductive choice was about the right for women to have access to the “pill.” Yet, now, when any woman says she is pro-life, she is dismissed as extremist and certainly not a feminist.

Climate Change: When Barack Obama was still president in the U.S., he declared climate change as the most serious threat to humanity. Thankfully, President Trump is grounded in reality and that view is changing. However, in Canada, PM Justin Trudeau and Premiers Rachel Notley and Kathleen Wynne have instituted either a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system — which most of us know, that while those taxes will do nothing to reduce our emissions,  they will definitely destroy jobs and investment opportunities.

CINOs & RINOs: Unfortunately, it is not enough that conservatives are condemned by liberals and progressives. You also have to be a “real” conservative. Meaning, you cannot have any beliefs involving progressive policies — even though provincial conservatives are called “Progressive Conservatives.” If, however, you have the nerve to admit you are a progressive conservative, you will be called a CINO or RINO — a Conservative and/or Republican in name only.

The crux of the matter: Well, as I said at the start of this post, I am sick and tired of such political correctness and the lack of tolerance for a free exchange of ideas. In fact, as a former academic, I cringe at the notion that university students, like those at Berkeley and Middlebury College, no longer seem to know how to freely debate ideas, what Socrates called the dialectic. I mean, at Middlebury, a well liked Professor actually received a concussion when she tried to stop a student mob from attacking a sociology guest speaker — Charles Murray — who holds some controversial views.

In my opinion, then, the crux of the matter is that conservatives in the U.S. and Canada, be they considered “real” conservatives, moderate conservatives or libertarians, must fight against rigidity of thought and the intolerance of liberal political correctness. And, dare I challenge university faculty everywhere in the West — to teach their students how to debate a diversity of ideas.

ON PC Leader Patrick Brown ready to be Premier of Ontario!!!

Check out this video when Ontario Progressive Conservative (ONPC) Leader Patrick Brown spoke at the ROMA (Rural Ontario Municipal Association) Conference last month, in February 2017. I listened to the video this morning and was very impressed and encouraged because I realized that once a majority of Ontario voters had a chance to listen to him, really listen to him and what his PC party represents, they would vote for their PC candidate in June 2018.

In fact, I was so impressed, I set about deleting the negative posts I had previously written about him in relation to his wanting to implement a carbon tax. Why? Well, because frankly, a revenue neutral carbon tax, by itself, is not problematic when compared to the corruption and mismanagement we in Ontario are experiencing under the Kathleen Wynne Liberal Government.

Anyway, elected as Ontario Progressive Conservative (PC) leader in 2015, Patrick Brown has definitely grown into a potential premier. Yes, I know, some Ontario Conservatives will complain that Brown has some progressive tendencies. But, so what? The Ontario Liberals not only have some progressive tendencies, they are a complete and total progressive government — and, as such, have made us a have-not province. I mean, we now need equalization payments for heaven’s sake.

My point is that Brown’s having some progressive social views need not be a problem if he also has some strong conservative tendencies. Which, given what he says in this video, he does — in spades. In fact, to borrow from the new President to the south, the PC policies Brown discusses in this video prove the PCs can indeed make Ontario great again.

For those who don’t have time to listen to the video, here are some examples of what Brown discusses:

  1. Brown says the PCs will make hydro affordable again. On this topic, Brown explained that when the Wynne Liberals defended the fire sale of Ontario Hydro to taxpayers, she claimed that a large portion of the money earned would be spent on infrastructure. Brown says not a dollar has been spent so far. Not only that, Ontario taxpayers have already lost over $6 billion dollars selling our hydro to the U.S.
  2. Brown confirmed that the Wynne Ontario Cap and Trade system is nothing more than a revenue tool for the Ontario Liberals, as any money earned will go into general revenue. Whereas, if the PCs implement a carbon tax, as in BC, they will give back every penny to Ontarians.  So, while I may not agree with the concept of a carbon tax, at least it is not more of our money going down a bottomless green hole.
  3. Brown explains that the PC Party really is in favour of natural gas expansion — unlike the Wynne Liberals who just keep making announcements about such an expansion but never follow through.
  4. Brown promised to get rid of the Green Energy Act and put the power of what municipalities do back in their planning jurisdictions. In other words, with a PC Government, no one would be able to force wind farms on municipalities that didn’t want them.

Anyway, if you are a Conservative living in Ontario, or an independent type voter who simply wants to get rid of the Ontario Liberals on June 7th , 2018, I would recommend putting aside 18 minutes to listen to the video. The crux of the matter is that it clearly shows that Patrick Brown is relaxed in his own skin and very positive and committed to what he says he will do if an ONPC Government is elected. And, remember, unlike Liberal governments, Conservative governments of all kinds do what they say they will do.

Democrats “doth protest too much” regarding Trump’s allegation re wiretapping

So President Trump alleged, in a Saturday morning Tweet on March 4th, 2017, that Obama and his Administration spied on him and his team during and after the November 8th, 2016 election while working at the Trump Tower in New York City.

Yet, after making those allegations, the U.S. liberal media (like CNN, the Washington Post and New York Times) and every Democrat or Democratic supporter who could get in front of a TV camera, ranted and raved all day Sunday and Monday that Trump was unhinged for making such an allegation.

That there was no proof. Yada yada yada.

The problem is that it has been some in the liberal media themselves who have written much of the proof that Trump and his team were recorded, obviously hoping they could delegitimize Mr. Trump’s win. However, it is obvious now they have been hoisted on their own petard because the proof is already out there for everyone to see if they do a Google search. And, I won’t give those sources any traffic by putting a link. Everyone knows which sources I am talking about.

Anyway, we all know that Mike Flynn, President Trump’s former National Security Advisor, was forced to resign. Why? Because he forgot he had discussed the sanctions when talking to the Russian Ambassador — and then misled the VP Mike Pence by saying he had not discussed that topic.

The key point is, how do we know what Mr. Flynn said if no one was electronically recording telephone conversations at the Trump tower? Because, remember, that is where Flynn made the call, was it not? Although, of course, the recording may have been at the Russian Ambassador’s end.

Either way, it is now public knowledge what Mr. Flynn said, word for word, in what was supposed to be a secure classified telephone call. Does that not point to someone in the Obama Administration? I mean, who else would have released that classified information?

And so, there’s the proof! No “what ifs” as one journalist said on CNN. Besides, releasing the content of the Flynn phone call to the Russian Ambassador was not an isolated incident. We also know what President Elect Trump said to such world leaders as the Prime Ministers of Australia and Taiwan. As with Flynn, how do we know that?

The crux of the matter is that there have been far too many classified leaks regarding President Elect and President Trump, and such advisors as Flynn, to deny the President’s allegation. As Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, the Democrats and their media and pundit supporters “doth protest too much.

Published 1:13pm March 7, 2017.
Updated 9:10pm March 7, 2017 to add the sentence: “Although, of course, the recording may have been at the Russian Ambassador’s end.”
Further update March 17, 2017. Apparently the Flynn telephone call originated in the Dominican Republic — although the fact that his name and a transcript were released publicly doesn’t change the fact that the Trump transition team was under surveillance of some kind. In other words, someone in the U.S. justice or intelligence community wanted the public to know.

Anti Trump & CPC leadership media bias in Canada & US

conservative-french-debate-20170117

Click for image.

The media and Left inspired nastiness regarding all things Trump and conservative politics these days is horrendous and non-stop.

Turn on the TV or your Twitter feed or pick up any newspaper, and the headlines say it all.

For example, on Twitter I read that a Liberal MP believes that Canada’s Conservative Party was responsible for the Quebec Mosque massacre. Politicizing the deaths is, of course, disgusting. Luckily former Conservative Immigration Minister, Jason Kenney, corrected that faulty information.

As well, I have read and heard for months now,  that Conservative Leadership Candidate Kellie Leitch is anti-Canadian because she wants to vet newcomers from Muslim countries.

Of course, anything I hear or read about President Trump I take with a grain of sale — such as his latest behaviour at his most recent Press Conference. The media said he was unhinged whereas I thought the reverse.

Blah, blah, blah.

trumps-press-conference

Click for image.

In the US of course it is anti-Trump 24/7. In fact, I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that the mainstream journalists there are the ones who are “unhinged.”

President Trump is simply a showman, always has been and always will be.

Trump is also not beholden to anyone for anything. As a result, the media need to get used to him “telling it like it is” because it is his authenticity that supporters like about him.

As to Kellie Leitch and the Canadian Conservative Leadership campaign, there is, unfortunately some nastiness going on within the campaign. As I wrote here, Leitch has been attacked by several of her fellow Conservative leadership candidates, including Lisa Raitt.

In any event, while I like Leitch, I am leaning towards Andrew Scheer. Why? Because he is a young family man, much like PM Trudeau. As a result, I believe the media’s comparison to the current PM will be more favourable.

Scheer is also not going to be controversial because he is a known personality, having been Speaker of the House of Commons. Besides, in my opinion, Scheer is most like a young Stephen Harper. Meaning, while he does not glow with charisma, he has experience and statesman-like dignity.

The crux of the matter is that I will leave this thread open to provide a space where regular readers can discuss and debate the CPC leadership contest in the weeks and days leading up to the May 2017 vote.

Page separator

Endnote: If readers want to find this site after early May, 2017, I would recommend they change your “favorites list” for CotM to http://www.cruxpolitics.wordpress.com soon as I don’t plan on renewing cotmblog.com in August, 2017. Similarly, the domain crux-of-the-matter.com will expire in the near future because it has not worked for some time now due to the “dashes” between words.

Greyhound beheader Vince Li, AKA “Will Baker” released without conditions

Remembering Tim McLean, killed on a Greyhound bus by Vince Li, AKA Will Baker. Click for NP.

Remembering Tim McLean, killed on a Greyhound bus by Vince Li, AKA Will Baker. Click for NP.

Remember the name Will Baker everyone because he is the Greyhound bus beheader, previously known as Vince Li, who has just been released from custody without any conditions whatsoever.

How could that happen? It could happen because Li/Baker was found “not criminally responsible“(NCR) for beheading Tim McLean on a Greyhound bus in July 2008 at Portage La Prairie, Manitoba. See McLean in photo to the left.

And, it is that “NCR” finding that is the problem because the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 1999 that anyone found not criminally responsible could be released without conditions “if” they were not deemed dangerous by a Review Board.

Well, the Manitoba Criminal Code Review Board granted Li/Baker that release yesterday.

Why did that Review Board come to such a conclusion? Because, the Global News link indicates, his doctor, Jeffrey Waldman, “…told the board earlier this week that he is confident Baker will remain on his medication and will continue to work with his treatment team if released.”

Waldman also  “…testified that Baker knows it’s the medication that keeps his illness at bay.” Think about that. “It’s the medication that keeps his illness at bay.”

Yes, I have compassion for people with mental illness. In fact, I am a former special needs counsellor and therapist who helped many people with mental difficulties manage their symptoms and achieve success in life — but through learning and cognitive strategies, not medication.

Which causes me to wonder what Li/Baker will do with his time on his own. Will he stay in close touch with his health team? Will he have a job or meaningful activities? And, what will happen when and if he travels to China, which allegedly is his long term plan? Will he, for example, continue to have access to his medication in China? Or, once away from his team, will he start hearing voices again?

Anyway, regardless of a person’s mental illness, we have to stop making excuses for taking the life of another. Killing someone has consequences, or should have consequences. In the past, before medications became available, anyone found “NCR” for murder had to be hospitalized for life. At the very least, should Li/Baker not have been given the condition that taking his medication had to be supervised.

What about the victim in this case? Has the justice system forgotten him? The horrible reality is that McLean, Li/Baker’s victim is never coming back to his family. Plus, the horror that young man must have experienced is unimaginable. Killed in cold blood. Decapitated as he sat quietly in his Greyhound bus seat.

The crux of the matter is that the Manitoba Criminal Review Board has allowed Vince Li/Will Baker, who was found “NCR” for killing McLean in cold blood, to be released without any conditions even though he requires medication to maintain equilibrium. They also allowed Vince Li to use the anonymous name Will Baker, presumably so he won’t be discriminated against.

Truly, we live in an upside down world when the rights of people like Li/Baker are prioritized over the safety and well being of the general public.

 

 

 

 

Violence at Berkeley re Milo Yiannopoulos & liberal fascism

Click for ABC video.

Click for ABC video.

What we are seeing in the U.S. regarding the protest and riot at the University of California at Berkeley (H/T newswatchcanada.ca) is an example of liberal fascism, a projection of the very criticism the Left screams at conservatives.

For example, Wikipedia describes fascism as the belief that “liberal democracy is obsolete” and that there must be a “complete mobilization of society under a totalitarian one-party state …”  In the current U.S. context then, I don’t think it is an exaggeration to suggest the Berkeley protests are an example of fascism — albeit in reverse — the preference for a totalitarian state governed only by the Democratic Party.

Scary stuff! But, yes, in reality progressives and liberals in the U.S. want to do whatever is necessary to take down the Trump government. And, no as I said above, I don’t think saying that is an exaggeration.

Think about it. Ever since Donald Trump won the Presidency on November 8th, 2016, the pro Hillary Clinton Democrats — including elected Democrats in the U.S. Congress and Senate — have screamed and yelled that, because Trump did not win the popular vote, the Republicans should not do what they promised to do.

Which begs the question: What if the election result had been reversed? What if Clinton won the Electoral College and not the popular vote? She would be President and there would like be few if any protests.

Well, Clinton did not win the Electoral College and Donald J.Trump is President!

Which brings me to the Berkeley fiasco. What set the students and administration off? It seems that the students got upset because Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak. The problem? Is he a racist? Is he a homophobe? No, worse. He is a gay conservative who doesn’t like liberal political correctness. He also likes President Trump.

So much for free speech!

Yes, I can identify with what is going on in the U.S. I am a conservative Canadian who has been blogging for eleven years now and had to listen to the anti-Stephen Harper screaming and whining from the opposition parties in Ottawa, as well as the liberal media, for the entire ten years the Conservatives were in power.

And, like most conservatives in the West today, I am fed up with liberals and progressives constantly calling us evil simply because we don’t think like they do. I am also fed up with them constantly exalting their righteousness and demanding absolute conformity to their vision of the social good.

To put it bluntly, the crux of the matter is that protesting everything conservative is nothing more than liberal fascism.