Wynne Liberals putting corporate interests ahead of pensioners

QUEEN’S PARK—Following an Ontario Superior Court decision permitting Sears Canada to begin liquidating assets this weekend, Oshawa NDP MPP Jennifer French once again called on Kathleen Wynne to finally ensure that pensioners are given priority to collect money they're owed -- including their pensions -- over corporate claimants.

“Putting Sears staff and pensioners at the back of the line will have a devastating impact on families in my community of Oshawa and across the province,” said French. “People have worked their whole lives, counting on their pensions to be there when they retire.”

On Friday, an Ontario Superior Court approved a motion permitting Sears Canada to shut down operations, leaving 12,000 unemployed, without severance, and a total pension shortfall of more than $260 million.

“For pensioners this isn’t just an outstanding debt on a balance sheet, it’s about keeping food on the table and a roof over their heads,” said French.

In 2016, French introduced a motion in the legislature calling on the government to make pensioners priority claimants during bankruptcy proceedings. New Democrats have also called for any revenue from liquidation sales to be used to fund Sears’ employees’ pensions first, not more executive bonuses.

“Does the premier think that big corporations and executive bonuses should be the priority over pensioners?” asked French.