*This article appeared in the Flamborough Review on April 22, 2019*

Next week Parliament will continue debate of the Liberals’ Budget Implementation Act.

That will put the focus on the Liberals’ handling of the nation’s finances and the economy. While Trudeau would rather talk about anything other than SNC-Lavalin, there’s no question their handling of the economy has suffered from neglect and inaction.

It’s evident in the manufacturing jobs lost.

Locally, it’s particularly evident with steel fabricators in the Hamilton area that have suffered significantly because of the inability of the Trudeau Liberals to properly stickhandle bilateral and multilateral trade. Flamborough and Hamilton families have been directly impacted.

Which brings me to the other point that needs raising: the failure of the Trudeau Liberal government to act in protecting employee pensions.

There are many Stelco retirees in Flamborough-Glanbrook and throughout the city. There are couples who were severely impacted by the collapse of Sears after working there for 30 or 40 years. I raised this issue more than a year ago. So did local NDP MPs. Yet there has been no action by the Liberal government.

Through the SNC-Lavalin scandal, we have seen the power of parliamentary committees to shine the spotlight on critical issues.

That’s why in November 2017 I called on the Liberals to allow a parliamentary committee to look into the modernization of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act and the Investment Canada Act.

It would compel stakeholders to publicly defend why these pieces of legislation shouldn’t be modernized — to ensure pensioners aren’t left out in the cold. Pensioners, steel workers, unions and academics all agree that the bankruptcy laws are out of date. All parties should work together through committees to make this happen.

The Liberals have had more than a year to act and there’s been nothing.

I’ll continue to raise this issue again in the months that remain in this Parliament because Trudeau photo-ops with steel industry executives isn’t a plan, a solution or action.

We may not be able to make all stakeholders completely happy, but we can do much better for workers! Let’s get this issue on the front burner now — so there’s no further time wasted in placing a higher priority on pension obligations in support of workers and their families.