O’Toole vows to force bankrupt firms to pay pensions over executive bonuses – National

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A day after throwing a line to private-sector union workers, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole is digging in against what the party calls “corporate elites” in a pitch to Canadian seniors and working-class voters.

O’Toole is pledging to give priority to pensioners over companies and most other creditors during bankruptcy or restructuring proceedings.

At an announcement from his virtual broadcast studio in Ottawa, he said a Conservative government would amend legislation to prevent executives from paying themselves bonuses while steering a company through restructuring unless the pension plan is fully funded.

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“As I’ve met with Canadian workers and labour unions across the country, I’ve heard the same thing over and over again: After working hard their whole career, people should be able to look forward to financial security in retirement,” O’Toole said Tuesday.

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“Canadian workers who’ve paid into a pension plan on every paycheque should be able to rely on it actually being there when they retire.”

The Tory leader, who on Monday promised union representation on big companies’ boards, says workers have been forced to take major cuts to their pensions when their former employer goes bankrupt, with Sears as a recent example.

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For seniors, the Liberals pledged $3 billion over five years in their budget from the spring to support long-term care and another $90 million over three years to help low-income seniors age at home.

New Democrats have proposed universal pharmacare and a national seniors strategy that would target dementia and elder abuse and suspend clawbacks to the guaranteed income supplement for low-income seniors who received emergency benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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