Thank you, Madam Chair.
I'm going to take the liberty right away of introducing the motion that I previously sent out and that you all received via email. The motion is as follows:
That the Committee proceed immediately to the clause-by-clause consideration of Bill C-253 as referred by the House on May 12, 2021, without hearing witnesses.
I introduce this motion on the basis that this bill does not commit any money from the government. The bill is essentially ideological and does not involve responsible government, for example.
In the particular context of COVID-19, we know that many companies are being kept on life support, as it were. That's what the results of various surveys are showing. The government's wage subsidy and rental assistance programs are very generous. However, when those programs end, we could see a significant number of bankruptcies.
In addition, the election threat weighs heavily on us. An election campaign could be triggered as early as August. We know that if this bill is not sent to the House directly, given the time allotted for debate and consideration by the Senate, it may not receive royal assent before the House wraps up.
If these bankruptcies occur in the fall without us having passed the bill, hundreds or even thousands of workers may not be protected. That is what I'm afraid of. My colleague Marilène Gill's bill covers two areas: priority payment of preferred claims for employers, as well as compensation for the loss of group insurance.
I therefore move that we begin clause-by-clause consideration of Bill C-253 immediately, in the hope that it will be sent back to the House as soon as possible for consideration at third reading. I also hope that it will be sent to the Senate quickly so that it can be passed in the current Parliament. That will allow us to address the bankruptcies that may occur in many constituencies.
I want to point out that the motion to send the bill to committee was supported by the Bloc Québécois, of course, the NDP, the Conservative Party and 10 Liberal members, including our colleague Nathaniel Erskine-Smith. I am calling on our strategic political sense and compassion for the workers who may be affected by these bankruptcies.