Bill C-501 would grant pension plans secured status during corporate restructuring and bankruptcy proceedings.
Ottawa (27 May 2010) – A private member’s bill that would put workers at the front of the line when a company goes bankrupt moved one step closer to becoming law yesterday, passing second reading in the House of Commons.
Bill C-501 was sponsored by New Democrat MP John Rafferty (Thunder Bay – Rainy River). “I am extremely pleased that C-501 has passed its first test in Parliament,” said Rafferty. “We have taken a very significant step forward towards meaningful pension and retirement income security in Canada. This is very good news for Canadians who are concerned about their retirement income.”
Rafferty cautioned that a majority of Conservatives have gone back on their word to workers and pensioners across the country by voting against the bill, and that significant obstacles remain before the bill can become law.
“Almost one year ago to the day, Conservatives voted unanimously in support of my New Democrat Opposition Day motion that said pension funds should go to the front of the line, so this vote is a stunning reversal on their part,” said Wayne Marston, NDP Pensions and Seniors critic. “I guess their vote last year was a PR stunt and Conservative hypocrisy is the last remaining obstacle to securing the pensions of more than 6 million Canadians.”
Bill C-501 was tabled in response to concerns raised by AbitibiBowater workers, and workers in other similar situations. The bill would grant pension plans secured status during corporate restructuring and bankruptcy proceedings, and will secure the retirement income of up to 6 million Canadians, according to Statistics Canada.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE