QUEEN’S PARK – During question period today, Ontario NDP Pension critic and Hamilton East-Stoney Creek MPP Paul Miller demanded that the Wynne government finally stand up for Sears workers facing the loss of their pensions.
“So far, 59 locations have been closed and more than 1,200 employees have been affected,” said Miller. “The saga continues as we learn that Sears Canada is filing a petition to terminate their pension plan. And now, Sears just announced on Saturday that they will be closing another 10 stores- including one in Hamilton.”
Earlier this year, Sears Canada applied for bankruptcy and was granted approval to perform liquidation sales. Last month, Sears filed a petition to terminate its vastly underfunded pension plan, leaving thousands at risk of losing their pensions. New Democrats passed a motion in the legislature calling for changes to bankruptcy legislation and the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) to ensure pensioners are listed as preferred creditors and benefits owed to them are prioritized when a company files for bankruptcy. New Democrats are also calling for any liquidation sales to be used to fund Sears’ employees’ pensions first, not executive bonuses.
“The lack of pension protection in this province is unacceptable,” said Miller.
“Will the premier step up—will she put pressure on the federal government to make changes to the Bankruptcy, Insolvency and CCAA so that hard working current and former employees are given priority to get paid the pensions they’re owed?” asked Miller.