Mr. Speaker, nine years after Nortel failed, leaving its pensioners in the lurch, Sears Canada did the same, terminating 15,000 employees, denying severance or termination pay, and cutting off benefits. At the same time, Sears executives were given over $6 million in bonuses.
Last month, the Prime Minister said that displaced Sears employees could fall back on El and CPP. Sadly, he does not understand that in Canada, the scales are weighted in favour of large corporations and the richest in society. Hard-working Canadians play by a different set of rules or are told to wait at the end of the line.
This is why I have introduced Bill C-384, which offers a simple proposal for ending pension theft. My bill includes amendments to Canada's inadequate bankruptcy laws to ensure that workers' pensions, along with any severance packages, will be paid out ahead of wealthy creditors, banks, and parent companies whenever a company files for bankruptcy protection. These changes would have a profound effect on the lives of many workers and pensioners.
We can and must do more. We have offered the government a solution, and now it is time for it to act.