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Her Excellency the Governor General recommends to the House of Commons the appropriation of public revenue under the circumstances, in the manner and for the purposes set out in a measure entitled “An Act to establish the Wage Earner Protection Program Act, to amend the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts”.
This enactment establishes the Wage Earner Protection Program Act. That Act provides for the payment of wages to individuals whose employment is terminated and who are owed wages by employers who are bankrupt or subject to receivership. It sets out the conditions of eligibility to receive payments, the maximum amount covered by the Program, the application, review and appeal process of the Program and the administrative arrangements for its implementation, including enforcement mechanisms. The Act provides regulation-making powers for carrying out the purposes of the Act and it provides for a review of the Act five years after its coming into force.
This enactment also contains amendments to the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. Those amendments include changes to the appointment and oversight functions of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy, as well as to the obligations and powers of trustees in bankruptcy, interim receivers and receivers. The amendments also expand the Act to cover income trusts. Also, new provisions regarding corporate proposals are created to address, among other things, the treatment of contracts, collective agreements, interim financing and governance arrangements. Changes are made to the priority of charges, including in respect of wages and pension contributions. The scope of application of consumer proposals is expanded. New provisions are introduced to deal with bankrupts with high income tax debts and those with surplus income, to exempt registered retirement savings plans from seizure, and to allow for the automatic discharge of second-time bankrupts. The period of eligibility of discharge of student debts is reduced. There are changes to the treatment of preferences as well as numerous technical changes. The amendments also provide for a review of the Act after five years.
This enactment also contains amendments to the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act. Many of the amendments parallel those made to provisions dealing with corporate proposals in the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. The amendments also expand the Act to cover income trusts. The scope of application of the initial stay is clarified, notably regarding regulatory measures. New provisions are introduced regarding the treatment of contracts, collective agreements, interim financing and governance arrangements. The appointment and role of the monitor are further clarified and made subject to the oversight of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. A new Part on cross-border insolvencies is added. The amendments also provide for a review of the Act after five years.
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