January 31st, 2018

Liberals out of touch with workers, must protect pensions

OTTAWA – New Democrats are renewing calls on the Liberal government to end pension theft. The NDP has proposed legislation that would protect the pensions workers and retirees have earned. Meanwhile, to date, the Liberals refuse to act to help workers beyond “monitoring the situation”.

“Companies like Sears and Carillion continue to fail our workers. These workers need more than information sessions with Service Canada – they need to know their retirement is protected,” said NDP Pensions Critic Scott Duvall. “The Minister said he would work with anyone that puts forward a proposal. I introduced legislation to protect workers like those at Sears Canada from losing their hard-earned pension and health care benefits. It’s now time for the Liberals to act so that no Canadian workers ever lose their earned pensions and benefits again.”

Under current legislation, large multinational corporations are using Canada’s inadequate bankruptcy laws to take money meant for workers’ pensions and divert it to pay off their secure creditors, who are often their parent companies. A private members bill, introduced by Duvall, would protect workers’ pensions and benefits first, and force companies to provide termination or severance pay before paying secured creditors.

“The Innovation Minister keeps dismissing the ongoing corporate pension theft happening at Sears Canada. The Liberals are out of touch with the effects of these flawed laws on the lives of working and retired Canadians,” added NDP MP Charlie Angus. “Families have contacted me to say this isn’t about them going to find a job, it’s about their elderly parents not being able to afford long term care because the pensions they earned were robbed by their employer.”

The NDP wants to level the playing field for all Canadians by making changes to federal bankruptcy laws so our workers’ pensions and health benefits are given the same consideration as secured creditors. New Democrats aren’t worried about making the life of the super-rich a little more difficult, because the rest of Canadians have been struggling for far too long.