House of Commons Hansard #80 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was banks.

Topics

Bill S-5—Time Allocation Motion
Financial System Review Act
Government Orders

10:40 a.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Bill S-5—Time Allocation Motion
Financial System Review Act
Government Orders

February 14th, 2012 / 10:40 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

In my opinion nays have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the Motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #127

Financial System Review Act
Government Orders

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I declare the motion carried.

I wish to inform the House that because of the proceedings on the time allocation motion, government orders will be extended by 30 minutes.

The House resumed from February 3 consideration of the motion that Bill S-5, An Act to amend the law governing financial institutions and to provide for related and consequential matters, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Second Reading
Financial System Review Act
Government Orders

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Brossard—La Prairie has five minutes to continue his remarks.

Second Reading
Financial System Review Act
Government Orders

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Hoang Mai Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I am appalled to see that we are debating a bill here today that has to do with important institutions, yet this government is muzzling us once again. This is a very important bill and the government knows this. First of all, it introduced this bill in the Senate, where senators are unelected and where the NDP has no voice. What the government is doing is completely unacceptable. It is appalling. It is repulsive. I am at a loss for words.

Second Reading
Financial System Review Act
Government Orders

11:25 a.m.

An hon. member

It is disgusting.

Second Reading
Financial System Review Act
Government Orders

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Hoang Mai Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Yes, it is disgusting. That is an excellent word.

To be more specific, we want to debate this bill because it concerns financial institutions. I would remind the government that we are supposed to examine this issue every five years. The mandate that has been given is very limited. We are examining some technical aspects, which are certainly important, but why not take this opportunity to review the entire financial system?

I would remind the government that in 2008, a crisis originated in the United States, and it came from the financial system, the banks. This bill does not address that issue. Why not address it? We are not even having any public hearings on this. Ostensibly as a study, 30 submissions will be tabled and 27 of them are not even public. There really is a problem with transparency—

Second Reading
Financial System Review Act
Government Orders

11:25 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member.

I would like to ask members to take their conversations to the lobby while members are speaking. Thank you.

The hon. member for Brossard—La Prairie.

Second Reading
Financial System Review Act
Government Orders

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Hoang Mai Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Madam Speaker, I was saying that this was an opportunity for us to study the financial system and address our current problems, including problems facing consumers. In terms of the financial institutions, we see that the banks are making billions of dollars in profit, while consumer and household debt is at a record high. What is more, banks have a hold on consumers and impose as many fees on consumers as they want. We would have had the opportunity to explore ways to truly protect consumers. In that sense, this government has dropped the ball.

There is also speculation. We saw what happened in the United States. Why not study this issue more at length? Why muzzle the House? Now is the time to study this bill. Obviously it is going to be referred to the Standing Committee on Finance, but now is the time for us to talk about it and debate it for consumers and the people we represent, those whose voices were not heard in the Senate. The government is scared and does not want to talk. It does not even want its own members of Parliament to talk about something so very important. Our economy depends heavily on the banks and financial institutions. Why not talk about cooperatives? That movement exists. Why is it not addressed in this bill?

We are saying that the government lacks confidence and courage, and now, it is demonstrating a lack of democracy. This government is preventing its members and the opposition from talking about really important issues. Instead of allowing debate, the government is relying on 30 submissions that were received and examined in three weeks. They may have been debated in the Senate, but not here in the House. Why will the government not give us the opportunity to discuss such an important bill?

We know that consumer bank fees are ever increasing, and people are now in need of our support. This bill could be used to offer such support. I am certain that the Conservatives' constituents are also experiencing the same problem with bank fees. Why not have a real debate on this issue here in the House and find real solutions? Instead, the Conservatives are limiting the debate, pushing the bill through and refusing to talk about it.

This behaviour demonstrates a lack of respect for this institution. I am a new member but I find what the Conservatives are doing to be completely unacceptable. They are attacking democracy. They are saying that an agreement was reached with regard to the bill, but we did not agree on the way the bill was examined or on the public consultation, and we did not agree on the mandate to study what to do about financial institutions.

This was the time to do it. The government lacked courage, and I am ashamed of its behaviour.

Second Reading
Financial System Review Act
Government Orders

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his speech on these issues.

He mentioned that the Conservatives are invoking closure on this bill. Yes, they are shutting down debate. It is true that the Conservatives have absolutely nothing to offer and always say the same thing.

We, on the other hand, have done an analysis, as the member did in his first speech and again here today. We discussed the issue and examined all the legislation, including increasing the equity threshold that indicates the degree of control over financial institutions up to $12 billion, which is not desirable in the current context.

So, I have a few questions for my hon. colleague from Brossard—La Prairie. First of all, what does he think of the Conservatives imposing this closure once again, even though they have nothing to bring to the debate? The NDP, on the other hand, has a great deal to offer. Also, what does he think of increasing financial institutions' equity threshold to $12 billion? What does he think of that? Does he think—

Second Reading
Financial System Review Act
Government Orders

11:30 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

Order. The hon. member for Brossard—La Prairie.

Second Reading
Financial System Review Act
Government Orders

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Hoang Mai Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for the question. With respect to the first part of his question, I admit that the government's latest gag order leaves me speechless. Closure has become systematic and that proves that the government is making things up as it goes along. The government says that the bill has to be adopted quickly, so why did they not introduce it sooner? Why did they wait so long? Why use closure to move the bill forward rather than take the time to discuss it? This is about financial institutions and a system that is very important, not only for consumers, but also for the country's economic system. During the global crisis in the United States, we saw that the financial system can affect the whole world. Canada weathered the crisis fairly well because we have a good system, but we still have to study it.

With respect to my colleague's second question, the threshold was raised from $5 billion to $8 billion after the events of 2007. The matter should be studied. There is a problem. The holdings have increased, and a certain level of participation is being granted—

Second Reading
Financial System Review Act
Government Orders

11:30 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

The hon. member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin.