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Ex-PM Paul Martin joins Premier Wynne to pitch Ontario pension plan idea

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TORONTO - Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has brought in some federal Liberal firepower to help sell her idea to create a provincial retirement pension plan.

Former Liberal prime minister Paul Martin was on hand today as Wynne plugged her plan during a campaign stop in Toronto, where she said it was time to help people who can't afford to save for their retirement.

Martin, who also served as finance minister, joined Wynne in criticizing the federal Conservatives for not expanding the Canada Pension Plan.

He says the provincial Tories have called Wynne's pension idea another tax, but he says that position shows a "complete ignorance of what pension plan investing is all about."

Martin's appearance at Wynne's side hasn't been the only sighting of a federal politician on the campaign trail.

Several federal ministers have shown their support PC Leader Tim Hudak, including John Baird, Pierre Pollievre and Tony Clement.

The most visible is Baird, who introduced Hudak at a town hall event in Toronto earlier this week and attended his speech in Ottawa last week. He and Clement worked with Hudak in the Ontario legislature under the former Conservative government.

Wynne said Hudak and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath aren't even talking about pensions.

It is a crucial issue and while the maximum CPP benefit available comes to $12,500 per year, the average retiree only receives $6,800 a year, she said.

That isn't enough to cover even the basics in life, she said, especially when only about one-third of Ontarians have a workplace pension.

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