Government of Canada

Government of Canada

June 14, 2007 15:27 ET

Protecting Workers: Minister Blackburn Moves Forward on Wage Earner Protection Program and Insolvency Reforms

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 14, 2007) - Today, the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, is pleased to announce that Canada's New Government is moving forward with legislation that will help workers and reform Canada's insolvency system.

"Canada's New Government supports Canadian workers and their families, and this legislation will protect the wages of people who work hard for their money," said Minister Blackburn. "This legislation will ensure that workers get their money when they need it the most. We are proud to move forward with a bill that will benefit all workers across Canada," added Minister Blackburn.

On November 25, 2005, 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 Act received Royal Assent and became Chapter 47 of the Statutes of Canada, 2005. Chapter 47 represents a comprehensive reform of Canada's insolvency system designed to ensure that it better responds to the needs of business, consumers and investors.

An important part of these reforms was the creation of the Wage Earner Protection Program (WEPP), which protects workers when employers become bankrupt or are subject to a receivership. It provides for the payment of unpaid wages and earned vacation pay of up to an amount equaling four weeks' maximum insurable earnings under the Employment Insurance Act (or approximately $3,000 at this time). It was understood prior to Royal Assent that the legislation would be subject to further review to resolve some technical issues before coming into force. Bill C-62 contains amendments to Chapter 47 to address these issues.

Technical amendments that fine tune and improve the WEPP Act to ensure that it will function well include provisions to enhance the fairness of the conditions of eligibility, support to trustees and receivers, and other administrative matters. Other provisions that improve the bankruptcy and insolvency reforms are related to the powers of receivers, personal liabilities of insolvency professionals, transfer at undervalue provisions and student loans.

Information on the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act is available online at www.strategis.ic.gc.ca. Information on the Wage Earner Protection Program may be found on the following Web site: Labour.gc.ca.



Media Only

For enquiries concerning the Wage Earner Protection Program

Emma Welford
Director of Communications
and Parliamentary Affairs
Office of the Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development
Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
819-953-5646

For enquiries concerning provisions of the bankruptcy and
insolvency legislation

Isabelle Fontaine
Office of the Honourable Maxime Bernier,
Minister of Industry
613-995-9001


Contact Information

  • Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations
    819-994-5559
    or
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations
    613-943-2502