FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 1, 2018
OTTAWA – Today, in the House of Commons, NDP MP Scott Duvall (Hamilton Mountain) called out the Liberal government and their local Members of Parliament for their inaction on changing Canada’s inadequate bankruptcy and insolvency laws.
“I know the Steelworkers from my community of Hamilton are hoping their Liberal Members of Parliament will finally act after three years of doing nothing. Especially after the Prime Minister came to Hamilton and promised to use all the tools in the toolbox to fix the problem and all his Liberal candidates echoed his concern,” stated Duvall.
Since first being elected in 2015, Duvall has been urging the government to change the laws. In November of 2017, he introduced Bill C-384 that aim to change Canada’s bankruptcy and insolvency laws and protect the value of workers’ pensions and benefits in the case of a bankruptcy or liquidation.
“Too many Canadian companies use our inadequate bankruptcy laws to effectively gain concessions from their employees and escape responsibility for often huge pension deficits they themselves have created,” said Duvall. “Workers are then left with the threat of reduced pension and health care benefits. This needs to change.”
The Liberals have failed to keep the promise they made in their budget of February 2018 to hold consultations about pension protection. They appointed a Minister for Seniors with a mandate to conduct consultations that never took place. Steelworkers are in Ottawa this week lobbying Members of Parliament to change the bankruptcy laws. They are unimpressed by Minister Filomena Tassi’s efforts.
“Her idea of consultation is to meet with representatives of USW Local 1005 once in 7 months,” said Dennis Van Meer, Vice president of USW Local 1005. “She has done nothing since we met her last May in Ottawa, and she promised consultations then.”
In his statement, Duvall noted that the Liberal government had a chance to change the bankruptcy laws in support of workers and retirees on Monday when they tabled their Budget Implementation Act instead of choosing to make changes to protect commercial license holders and corporations.
“This government is happy to help big corporations and wealthy executives, but when it comes to protecting peoples’ pensions they say it’s too complicated”, added Duvall.