Madam Speaker, because of the bankruptcy of Nortel, I would like to present a petition signed by a number of Canadians that states:
The Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act and the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act currently do not protect the rights of all Canadian employees laid off by a company who are receiving pensions or long-term disability benefits during bankruptcy proceedings.
The people do not have any preferred status over other unsecured creditors. Employees are unlike any other creditors. They have been largely responsible for creating value for all stakeholders. Unlike debit holders, banks and suppliers, they are not diversified businesses taking risks and managing tax writeoffs for financial losses.
Currently under the Investment Canada Act, the federal government fails to ensure proceeds of sale for Canadian assets to foreigners are allocated to Canadian employee-related claims before funds are permitted to leave the country before these requirements are met.
Therefore the petitioners call upon Parliament to amend the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act and the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act to protect the rights of all Canadian employees and to ensure that employees laid off by a company who are receiving pensions or long-term disability benefits during bankruptcy proceedings obtain preferred creditor status over other unsecured creditors and to amend the Investment Canada Act to ensure employee-related claims are paid from proceeds of Canadian assets sales before funds are permitted to leave the country”.