moved for leave to introduce Bill C-288, An Act to amend the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.
Mr. Speaker, I am introducing my private member's bill, which would amend the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act, CCAA, by simply adding publicly funded post-secondary institutions to the companies excluded from CCAA protection. It is seconded by my colleague, the MP for Nickel Belt.
As members of the House know, Laurentian University filed for protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act on February 1.
As a result, it has been a long and difficult two months for the Laurentian University community, for Sudbury and for Northern Ontario.
As a Sudburian, I was shocked by the scope and depth of the cuts announced last Monday. I spoke to students, professors and staff about the cuts and about the devastating effects they will have on the entire community.
The fact that the Laurentian University administration felt that it had to cut more than 188 professors and staff and dozens upon dozens of academic programs, and that it had to throw thousands of students into chaos right in the middle of their exam period by using the CCAA process to salvage Laurentian University, demonstrates the need to amend the CCAA. This restructuring process was not created for such an institution or, obviously, such an outcome.
Until now, it was reasonable to assume that the provincial governments responsible for these institutions would ensure that their finances did not get out of control, but unfortunately, here we are. What is happening at Laurentian University should never be allowed to happen at any other university or college in Canada.
In my opinion, it is clear that the CCAA process was never intended to be used by publicly funded institutions in this way. With this bill, I want to guarantee that no other publicly funded post-secondary institutions in Canada, nor their students, professors or communities, suffer in the way that our Laurentian University community is suffering right now, and that provincial governments finally ensure the oversight and proper funding of our publicly funded post-secondary institutions.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)