Update on Bill C-501
Press Release from Bruce Hyer, MP:
Conservatives vetoed a motion in the House of Commons late Wednesday that would have allowed a compromise to be reached on Bill C-501, a New Democrat private member’s bill on protecting worker pensions and severance when their employers go under.
“I was in the House when most Conservative MPs voted against C-501.” said Bruce Hyer, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay-Superior North. “They opposed putting workers back-wages, severance, termination pay and pensions at the top of the creditors list because their friends at the banks said it was too risky for lenders.”
Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP John Rafferty, who introduced C-501, subsequently introduced a motion Wednesday that would have allowed for a compromise on the bill.
“Rather than leave workers out in the cold like the current laws do, Rafferty’s compromise motion would have saved the hard-earned pensions and severance of workers, while eliminating the risks to Canadian banks and secured creditors.” said Hyer. “But Harper’s Conservatives opposed even this, and denied the unanimous consent of the House required to pass the motion.”
Rafferty said “The motion I tabled in the House would have allowed the Industry Committee to consider an amendment to the bill that would have eliminated risks to banks and secured creditors, while ensuring that pensions and severance of millions of workers was more secure in bankruptcy proceedings. Sadly, the Conservatives would not consent to the motion and thus rejected the very idea of reaching a compromise on the matter.”
Despite the setback, both Rafferty and Hyer vowed to continue to lobby hard to get C-501 passed at Third Reading in the House of Commons.
“There is a strong moral case that the pensions and severance pay of workers should come before banks and large financial institutions during corporate restructuring and bankruptcy proceedings,” Rafferty said. “It passed one vote already, so MPs clearly see the importance and necessity of such reform.”
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