From the Town Hall to Ottawa C-501 Passes Second Reading


OTTAWA –The power of the public to have their wishes worked on by their elected representatives continued to move forward in Thunder Bay and Ottawa on Wednesday.

A private members bill, brought forward by Thunder Bay Rainy River MP John Rafferty has passed second reading. The bill came about directly from public townhall meetings that the first term MP held throughout the riding.

Rafferty said he is pleased that his Private Members’ Bill C-501 passed its first vote in parliament (144-112), but is disappointed that the bill was opposed by many members of the Conservative caucus.

“I am extremely pleased that C-501has passed its first test in Parliament,” an energized Rafferty said from his legislative office.  “We have taken a very significant step forward towards meaningful pension and retirement income security in Canada.  This is very good news for my constituents and for all Canadians who are concerned about their retirement income.  The members of the Conservative, Liberal, and Bloc caucuses who stood in support of this bill also deserve some credit as well since they did the right thing.”

While pleased with the passage of C-501 at second reading, Rafferty regretted that many members of the Conservative Party caucus have gone back on their word to workers and pensioners across the country.

“The Conservatives voted unanimously in support of a New Democrat motion last year which said, explicitly, that they supported ‘pension funds should go to the front of the line of creditors’ when a company enters restructuring or bankruptcy proceedings, so this vote tonight is a stunning reversal for many of those MPs,” Rafferty said.  “I think some [MPs] believed that their vote last year was a PR stunt since it wasn’t really enforceable.  That is somewhat unfortunate for their constituents, but I want them to know that I am willing to listen to their concerns and consider possible amendments if it will decrease their opposition and speed up the passage of the bill.”

C-501 would grant pension plans secured status during corporate restructuring and bankruptcy proceedings, and could secure the retirement income of up to 6 million Canadians according to Statistics Canada.  Rafferty’s bill is now headed to the Industry, Science, and Technology where experts and witnesses will be heard from and possible amendments can be tabled by the various committee members.

Previous articleYou have got to want “It” – Majalahti
Next articleThe Power of Democratic Engagement or NNL offers news, information, opinions and positive ideas for Thunder Bay, Ontario, Northwestern Ontario and the world. NNL covers a large region of Ontario, but are also widely read around the country and the world. To reach us by email: Reach the Newsroom: (807) 355-1862