Protection of Beneficiaries of Long Term Disability Benefits Plans Act

An Act to amend the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act in order to protect beneficiaries of long term disability benefits plans

This bill was last introduced in the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session, which ended in March 2011.

Status

Defeated, as of Dec. 8, 2010
(This bill did not become law.)

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

The enactment amends the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act in order that the status of a preferred claim be conferred to the liabilities of the fund established for the purpose of a long term disability benefits plan and that such fund be used to continue the payment of benefits to the beneficiaries.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Protection of Beneficiaries of Long Term Disability Benefits Plans Act
Routine Proceedings

February 11th, 2011 / 12:05 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Mark Eyking Sydney—Victoria, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-624, An Act to amend the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (providing protection for beneficiaries of long term disability benefits plans).

Mr. Speaker, last Christmas this government left a lump of coal in the stockings of 400 sick and disabled Canadians when the Prime Minister ordered senators to kill a bill that would have prevented their medical benefits from being cancelled.

Aside from it being a right and decent thing to do, Bill S-216 was legally prudent, fiscally sound, and would have saved taxpayers millions of dollars. Despite this, the Prime Minister turned his back on hundreds of sick and disabled Canadians.

Today, I am tabling the bill that would right this wrong and restore the medical and income benefits needed by this group of disabled Canadians. It would also make sure that the rest never find themselves in this situation.

Canadians deserve better than to be thrown to the wolves when they get sick. This bill will work to protect some of the most vulnerable people from having their sick benefits taken away when they are needed the most.

I am happy to present this, proud to support it, and hope that all members will do the same thing.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Protection of Beneficiaries of Long Term Disability Benefits Plans Act
Routine Proceedings

December 15th, 2010 / 3:45 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-610, An Act to amend the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (protection of beneficiaries of long term disability benefits plans).

Mr. Speaker, in March of this year, Senator Art Eggleton presented Bill S-216 in the Senate. In simple terms, that bill would have made certain that hundreds of sick, disabled and dying Canadians had their medical benefits protected in the wake of the collapse of Nortel.

Despite expert testimony of the Senate Banking Committee, which stated that Bill S-216 was both financially sound and legally prudent, partisan considerations in the Senate defeated it last week. Today I am presenting a legislative package that is identical to S-216.

Every now and again, we as legislators are given the opportunity to do something truly good for the people we are here to represent, something that is far bigger than partisan politics. In my mind, this is one of those opportunities.

Together, all of us can prevent these people from being evicted from their homes when their benefits are revoked this Christmas. I ask my colleagues in all parties to do the right thing. Together we can help these desperate and disabled people.

As time is of the essence and this is an urgent situation, I would ask the House for unanimous consent to pass the bill at all legislative stages and to refer it to the Senate for concurrence today.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

December 10th, 2010 / 11:40 a.m.
See context

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, since I am not getting a straight answer I will change the subject.

In March, the House passed a bill on Supreme Court justices. A majority of the representatives elected by the people passed a bill and sent it to the Senate. The bill has been languishing there ever since. The Conservative senators refuse even to refer the bill to committee to allow people to discuss it. As the old adage goes, things come in threes.

Two or three weeks ago, they killed Bill C-311. This week Bill S-216 got the axe.

Will Bill C-332 be the next victim of the Conservatives in the Senate?

Long-Term Disability Benefits
Statements By Members

December 7th, 2010 / 2:05 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, on March 25, Bill S-216 was introduced in the Senate and despite our best efforts, there it continues to languish.

Bill S-216 represents the last hope for some 400 sick, disabled and dying Canadians. These people worked hard, paid their disability insurance premiums, and now they are being cast to the wolves by a Conservative-dominated Senate that makes Ebenezer Scrooge look like Mother Teresa.

This Christmas more than 400 sick and disabled Canadians will have their medical benefits and primary income slashed without any recourse. Their only crime is they got sick.

Bill S-216 would force Nortel to do the right thing, and despite baseless Conservative claims to the contrary, experts tell us that it would actually streamline the legal process faced by the disabled during bankruptcy.

The clock is ticking. Why is the Prime Minister refusing to demand his Conservative senators do the right thing? Will the Prime Minister finally stand up and support Bill S-216, or will he continue to say humbug to all of these disabled and dying Canadians?

December 6th, 2010 / 3:40 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Kitchener Centre, ON

Thank you.

I do want to say that I support the amendment that we should be dealing with this on the basis of members rather than parties, but even if the motion were amended in that fashion, I would still oppose the motion. Among other things, I don't think that five minutes is an adequate period of time, but I'll reserve those comments.

I would like first of all to mention that, as I understand the committee structure, although clearly we try to maintain solidarity with our caucus colleagues, we are here as individuals. Although we might try to work out how we're going to do things, it's extremely problematic to sit down and figure out that person A is going to speak to this point, person B to that point, and person C to this point.

In point of fact, we all have different ways of expressing ourselves, and we all have a valuable contribution to bring, in my opinion. It is, in a way, an infringement upon our rights as members that we should be forced by the motion before us, without the amendment, to be speaking as a bloc. In fact, there are those who would say that we shouldn't even always vote as a bloc. To have to speak as a bloc is nearly impossible.

I also want to say that there is some relevance here to what happened in the House regarding Bill S-216. It may be a good illustration of how sometimes parties and people don't apply themselves consistently.

I recall the closing hour of debate on Bill S-216. Quite frankly, the NDP member spent a great deal of time, instead of speaking about Bill S-216, speaking about Bill C-311, and clearly wasn't even adhering to even the smallest modicum of relevance in that debate, but was simply talking, I suppose, to fill time or maybe to hear her voice. I won't speculate as to her motives, but in any event it was to me quite distressing, as the mover of Bill S-216, to hear time being used on that debate to talk about Bill C-311. Of course, then it was necessary for me to respond to those comments on Bill C-311, and it just derailed the whole debate.

In the interest of maintaining our rights and privileges as individual members, I think we should be dealing with this on a per member basis.

The other thing I'd like to say, Mr. Chair, is that it has occurred to me from time to time that sometimes members--and I won't point the finger at just the opposition--think debate is unnecessary because they come to a table like this with their minds made up. Sometimes I'm as guilty as anyone of coming in with my mind made up.

Even if we have our minds made up, Mr. Chair, I think it still behooves us to stop, listen, let others speak, and hear what they have to say. Who knows? Some minor miracle may occur and we might change our mind along the way. If we come at it from the point of view that our minds are made up, well of course, then, even spending 60 seconds a person to let your opponent speak is too much, because we already know what we're going to do and we might as well move right to it.

In any event, I mentioned that even given the current amendment, I would not be able to support this motion. Quite frankly, I find the motion offensive generally. In an effort to try to improve it a little bit, I would like to propose a subamendment to the existing amendment that is on the floor, and that is to lengthen the time to 10 minutes per person.

May I speak to that amendment, Mr. Chair?

Pensions
Oral Questions

November 30th, 2010 / 3 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have legal opinions as well and they also heard testimony at the committee that Bill S-216 would help.

The Conservative senators are clearly playing games in an effort to wait out the clock. For months the industry minister has falsely claimed that he has a plan for Nortel pensioners and disability benefits, but all we get is inaction.

It is funny how the Prime Minister can find the time to give Patrick Brazeau a 40-year appointment to the Senate and a $2.5 million pension, but cannot be bothered to tell his Conservative dominated senators to do the right thing and pass Bill S-216.

Seniors
Oral Questions

November 30th, 2010 / 2:20 p.m.
See context

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, if the Prime Minister is such a strong supporter of vulnerable seniors, he has a chance to show it, because in 32 days, the Nortel pensioners are going to lose their disability benefits and some of them are going to lose their houses.

It is not as if there is not a solution. There are plenty of solutions out there, including Bill S-216, held up in the Senate by Conservative senators.

Why is the government refusing to act, and is it possible that the government is going to let Christmas go by and have those disabled pensioners go to the wall?

Pensions
Oral Questions

November 29th, 2010 / 3 p.m.
See context

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I think every member of Parliament and every senator recognizes and sympathizes with the difficult situation facing Nortel pensioners and LTD recipients, but the fact remains that today's situation is as a result of a court-approved settlement agreement among all parties, which was enacted under the legislation in effect at the time.

It is our responsibility to look at situations and to manage expectations. However, based on the expert witness testimony, Bill S-216 will not help Nortel LTD recipients. In fact, it will lead them to endless litigation to the detriment of all involved. Expert witnesses were clear about this.

Pensions
Oral Questions

November 26th, 2010 / 11:20 a.m.
See context

Liberal

Lise Zarac LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is not helping our seniors.

In a few weeks, disabled Nortel retirees will lose their homes because the Prime Minister refused to pass Bill S-216. In a few months, other retirees will desperately be awaiting a cheque that will never come. But the Prime Minister could not care less. He is plunging these people into despair by making them pay for his government's excesses.

If he can waste $300 million on an internal row between his ministers, could he have the decency to not hit our parents and grandparents with hidden taxes?

Nortel Pensioners
Oral Questions

November 18th, 2010 / 2:50 p.m.
See context

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, we are profoundly affected by those who are touched by this particular situation. It is unfortunate that the members of the opposition are selling a dream that does not exactly exist.

Bill S-216 would have led to endless litigation by the parties as the government would be seeking to retroactively overturn a court decision to which the lawyers for the parties agreed. If the hon. member is advising us to break the law, why does she not stand in her place to do that?

On this side, we are trying to find real solutions for real people.

Nortel Pensioners
Oral Questions

November 18th, 2010 / 2:50 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Lise Zarac LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, in just six weeks Nortel's long-term disability workers will lose access to their health benefits as well as 80% of their benefit payments. There is a solution. Conservative senators should pass Bill S-216 immediately.

Nortel workers are scrambling to find other sources of revenue, while just this morning Conservative senators scrambled out of committee in the middle of tragic and compelling testimony from these retirees.

With only 37 days until Christmas, how heartless can the Prime Minister possibly be?

Nortel Pensioners
Oral Questions

November 18th, 2010 / 2:50 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Lise Zarac LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, on January 1, 400 Nortel pensioners with disabilities will begin their new life of misery because of the Conservatives. The government could help them by supporting Bill S-216, but the Prime Minister would rather do nothing. Instead of enjoying the holiday season, these disabled pensioners will have to apply for welfare or look for a job.

Why is the government ignoring these vulnerable people who worked their whole lives for these pensions?