Gord Johns, Member of Parliament (Courtenay-Alberni) has invited local residents to join him and NDP Pensions Critic, MP Scott Duvall, for a public conversation about pension theft at Parksville’s Community and Conference Center, 132 E. Jensen Ave, on Wednesday, February 21s at 2:00 pm. And again later that day in Courtenay at the Florence Filberg Centre from 7-9pm.
“Canadians rely on their pensions so they can retire with security and dignity”, Mr. Johns said in announcing the town hall, “When large corporations fail, they are able to use Canada’s inadequate bankruptcy laws to use money meant for employees’ pensions to pay off wealthy CEO’s, banks and investors.”
New Democrats are calling on the Liberal government to protect pensions and the health care benefits of employees and retirees through amendments to Canadian bankruptcy laws. “The pensions earned by workers from companies like Sears Canada are deferred wages, plain and simple”, Mr. Duvall said, “Diverting, withholding or seizing those funds should be illegal”. Sears Canada filed a motion asking to suspend $3.7 million worth of monthly payments to its pension and post-retirement benefit plan after it declared bankruptcy in July 2017.
The Town Hall will begin with a presentation by Mr. Duvall after which, the floor will be opened to the public for questions, comments and discussion. “Everybody is welcome”, Mr. Johns said, “Come early for a good seat, there is a lot of interest in this issue in our communities”.MP Gord Johns