Mr. Speaker, I rise today to address the ongoing economic challenges in my riding.
The town of Wabush was founded on iron ore mining, but with low global commodity prices, the company operating the mine, Cliffs Natural Resources, entered bankruptcy protection. While this may be an unavoidable circumstance in a free market economy, what has happened to the pensioners should not be unavoidable.
The Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act protects creditors. It gives them the confidence that they will not lose their investment. However, in the case of Wabush, the company's underfunded health and pension plans were left to languish while the company liquidated assets for its creditors.
Pension funds should not be allowed to be so terribly underfunded, nor should profitable companies be allowed to abandon their negotiated obligations to the very workers who made them profitable. We need to act now to protect Canadians who work their whole lives to build our companies and build our communities.