(Ottawa – April 19, 2023) Bill C-228, a private member’s bill that gives pension plan members priority in a company insolvency, is set to become law after passing the Senate.
David Robinson, executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), welcomed the changes.
“Employee pensions aren’t just a line item on a balance sheet. They represent decades of savings by workers who deserve to be treated as more than just another creditor,” said Robinson.
The bill amends the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) to protect employee pensions during an insolvency. The CCAA was invoked at Laurentian University in 2021 after years of financial mismanagement that saw employees lose pension, termination and severance pay.
An amendment to Bill C-228 to protect termination and severance failed.
“The next steps are to protect severance and termination pay for all workers and exempt public post-secondary institutions from the CCAA completely. Before Laurentian University used it, it was unheard of that insolvency law would be applied to a public institution like a university,” said Robinson. “The Liberals committed to this in the last election but have yet to deliver on their promise.”