House of Commons Hansard #31 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was copyright.

Topics

Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-18, An Act to reorganize the Canadian Wheat Board and to make consequential and related amendments to certain Acts.

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

Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-331, An Act to amend the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (pension plans).

Mr. Speaker, in Canada today when a company goes out of business and the employees' pension plan is wound up, under Canada's outdated bankruptcy laws, pensioners must wait behind every imaginable financial and corporate interest before getting paid out from the company's remaining assets because, according to Canadian law, pensions are considered unsecured debt. As such, pensions are paid out at the same time as every other kind of unsecured debt. In effect, it puts pensioners at the end of the line.

The practical consequence of being at the back of the line means that pensions are too often tapped into as just another asset pool to be used to pay off other creditors. Canadians say that is wrong. They say that any retiree who has worked for generations for a company should have greater access to the company assets than vulture capitalists and bond dealers.

New Democrats believe it is time for the situation to be corrected. Let us be clear. Pensions are not just some kind of a fringe benefit. Workplace pensions are nothing less than unpaid deferred wages. That is why I am introducing my pension protection bill today.

Once enacted, the bill would move pensions further up the line of creditors to be paid out during bankruptcy proceedings. Amending Canada's bankruptcy laws to provide greater protection for pensioners is an issue of considerable importance to the NDP.

In the last election, this particular promise was on the front page of our platform. For New Democrats this question is very straightforward. How many more victims will there be before we fix our outdated bankruptcy laws? We know the stories of Nortel, Fraser Paper and AbitibiBowater and the dozens of mills that closed in Quebec and in British Columbia.

One thing is sure, and that is the current government has not been prepared to act, has not been prepared to extend the pensions, the common sense protection Canadians deserve. New Democrats are ready, and thus we are introducing this bill today.

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

Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of State and Chief Government Whip

Mr. Speaker, there have been consultations, and I believe you will find agreement for the following motion: “That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practices of the House, when the House begins proceedings under the provisions of Standing Order 53.1 today, no quorum calls, requests for unanimous consent or dilatory motions shall be received by the Speaker and, any member rising to speak during debate may indicate to the Speaker that he or she will be dividing his or her time with another member.”

Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Does the chief government whip have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Mr. Speaker, the people of Syria, through their protests, have been asking for democracy and an end to the rule of President Bashar al-Assad. The number of people who have been killed during the protest has reached 3,000. According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, President Bashar al-Assad has ordered the military to put down the protesters. The measures employed by the military have included gunning down unarmed protesters, searching people's homes for suspected protesters and jailing hundreds for expressing a wish for democracy and fundamental justice.

Syrian Canadians are looking to their government to condemn the brutal attacks in Syria--

Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order. Does the hon. member have a motion or is he reading a speech?

Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

I am reading a motion.

Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I would ask him to come to the motion.

Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent for the following motion, which is seconded by the member for York West: “That this House condemn the brutal attacks on members of the Syrian movement for democratic change and accountable government by the Bashar al-Assad regime; call on the Bashar al-Assad regime to meet the Arab League 15-day deadline to enact a ceasefire and to begin a dialogue between government officials and opposition representatives; accept the United Nations Human Rights Council's commission of inquiry into the violence of Syria to find out exactly what happened and to put an end to civilian deaths; and, ensure that all the perpetrators of these attacks are brought to justice and bear the full weight of the law.”

Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Does the hon. member for Scarborough—Agincourt have unanimous consent to propose the motion?

Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, I could not give my consent to the member's motion and I want to explain why. It is not that the motion is unsound; it is that he has a bad habit of not consulting the other parties—at least not ours—when moving this kind of motion. Therefore, we must refuse unanimous consent.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Is that agreed?