moved for leave to introduce Bill C-542, An Act to establish a National Urban Workers Strategy.
Mr. Speaker, it used to be that when a person left school, he or she could get a job, work for the same company for 30 or 40 years, earn enough to raise a family and then be able to retire with a pension. However, all of that has changed. More and more Canadians are working as independent contractors, are self-employed, or free lance or working multiple part-time jobs and a growing number of particularly young workers are working for free as unpaid interns. These are what I call urban workers.
This diverse group of workers have a lot in common. They have no access to a workplace pension, no benefits and no job security. Today, with the tabling of this bill, we would begin to change that.
A national urban workers strategy would lay a new foundation in order to prevent the misuse and abuse of unpaid interns by working with the provinces to fill in the gaps in our laws that leave interns without protection, to increase access to employment insurance for all workers, to bring more fairness to the tax system for the self-employed and for workers with fluctuating incomes and to ensure that all Canadians could retire with a livable pension.
This proposed national urban workers strategy will support all Canadians in big cities, small towns and rural areas who are struggling with the issues of precarious employment. It is time our policies reflect the reality of work in the 21st century and that is why Canada needs an urban workers strategy.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)