Canada's NDP


February 5th, 2024

Rachel Blaney pushes government to protect workers’ pensions

POWELL RIVER, BC - Rachel Blaney (NDP MP, North Island - Powell River) is pushing the government to protect workers’ pensions. Speaking in the House of Commons on Feb. 2, 2024, Blaney talked about the experiences of 300 workers in Campbell River, who learned just before Christmas that the Myra Falls Mine was shutting down with no notice.

“I have sat down with Unifor Local 3019, which is working hard with all levels of government to protect its workers. Its ask of me was simple: When will the rules finally be fixed in Canada to protect workers’ pensions and local small businesses in our community when big projects shut down?”

Blaney noted that in 2023, the NDP and the Bloc pushed hard to get Bill C-228 passed. The Pension Protection Act, which was designed to protect the members of defined benefit pension plans, received royal assent on April 27, 2023. That bill is meant to protect workers’ pensions; however, so far no regulations have been passed to implement the legislation, leaving workers’ pensions vulnerable if their employer declares bankruptcy.

Currently, pensions are at the bottom of the priority list. This means workers who spend their entire lives building a pension while employed with a company might wind up getting only pennies on the dollar when their employer declares bankruptcy.

“Where is the government in finally making workers a priority in this country?” Blaney asked “When will we see workers and their pensions at the top of the list instead of at the bottom? Workers in Canada do not deserve this. Our communities have seen these boom-and-bust cycles again and again. The workers and their local communities bear the weight of it. It is time that they were protected. Get the regulations in place now.”