We've seen a lot of bad news for workers during the past year as the recession cut deep into employment and retirement packages. Another example emerged on the weekend when CanWest announced it's selling its newspaper holdings to the highest bidder. Buried in the story, one discovers that severance packages will be frozen. Forget years of faithful service and trust in contract law. Anybody who opted to take their severence pay in instalments will now be given short shrift.
Senator Pierette Ringuette (NB) has been trying to help these victims of economic disaster. First she tried to amend the government's bankruptcy bill (Bill C-51), and when that failed she introduced her own bill just before Christmas. If her proposal succeeds, pensions and severance pay would receive priority protection over secured commercial creditors. I believe the law already protects wages in this manner (indeed, directors are now personally liable to pay them if the business fails). Senator Ringuette is simply expanding on a well-established principle – it's not the little guys who should get hurt in the topsy-turvy world of high finance.
Posted On Jan 13 12:45PM
I agree - I hope Senator Ringuette's bill succeeds, but oh - wait a minute - PARLIAMENT ISN'T EVEN OPEN FOR BUSINESS!!!! Closed for the Winter Olympics. Sigh. I do hope the workers get treated fairly - I do hope the citizens get treated fairly too. But I have serious doubts on both counts.
Posted On Jan 13 09:10AM
Good for Senator Ringuette! The problem is that most Canadians don't pay attention to private member bills since it is so rare that they amount to anything. But perhaps this can shame the Haper regime to actually do something on this front.
I've never understood letting the 'little guys' suffer most in bankruptcy cases -- since us 'little guys' are the ones who make the economic wheel turn. And monies in our pockets are quickly back into the system and helping to keep businesses profitable and governments afloat.
Time to turn few standard economic rules on their head!
Posted On Jan 11 02:30PM
Senator Ringuette is on the right track! Let's hope she succeeds!