Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Canada's shame.

Many of you who are Canadian retirees know that in October we will suffer a reduction in our pension payments, and that we may be even further impacted later when the trust fund is turned into annuities. This is shameful, and places Canada on a list of counries like Egypt, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Latvia amongst others.

I urge you to write to the PM of Canada to express your anger, and demand that he alter the bankruptcy act to support us and also put in place pension protection like other civilized countries such as the USA and the UK. Here's a letter I just sent. Feel free to use any or all of it:

Right Honorable Stephen Harper,

In 2007, your government implemented changes to the BIA (Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act) to favour junk bond holders. You gave junk bond holders a higher priority over pensioners, long term disabled (LTD), and people who were laid off without a severance. Apparently you support the banks over the ordinary citizens of your country, whom you were elected to represent.

Not only do they have your support, junk bond holders also have their money insured and collect damages upon bankruptcy protection declaration. Then, upon full bankruptcy, they will again get paid; double dipping at the expense of pensioners and other ex-employees. What a nice little set up you have established for them.

In the meantime,due to your archaic bankruptcy laws favouring banks and large corporations,hard working Canadians are seeing their pensions reduce or disappear altogether. As a Nortel; pensioner, I know the potential impact of that all too well!

In a study of 54 countries by the OECD and the World Bank, 34 have either super priority or preferred status in their bankruptcy laws for their employee claims. Canada is not on that list. How proud are you of that?

Some of the countries that do not have preferred status, or insured pensions include: Egypt, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Latvia, and Canada. Through your complacent attitude to the plight of pensioners you have placed Canada on that shameful list. No doubt you are very pleased with that accomplishment.

In the realm of truly civilized countries, there are 13 that have public pension benefit guarantee insurance to protect their pensioners in bankruptcies; once again, Canada is not included on this list.

Mr. Harper, this is your record and legacy. What do you really stand for; the people of Canada or your business buddies?

Act now to change the BIA in favour of the people, and to initiate long term protection for your senior citizens. The country is calling for that. Are you listening?

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