moved for leave to introduce Bill C-374, An Act to amend the Bills of Exchange Act (rights of bill holders).
Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Welland for seconding my bill today. I am very pleased to rise in the House to present it.
The bill is a little complicated and hard to explain but it is actually a very simple issue. It springs from a flaw in the Bills of Exchange Act, which is federal legislation governing financial transactions that dates back to the 1890s. The purpose of my bill is to prevent the cashing of cheques by a cheque-cashing business when the cheque has been cancelled by the person who wrote it. I know that sounds a bit convoluted but I will explain it.
This would apply, for example, to people who have hired someone to do work on their house, realize there are complaints of fraud, cancel their cheque and then the person who was doing the work goes to a Money Mart or a cheque-cashing business and cashes the cheque. When the cheque-cashing business realizes that there was a stop payment on the cheque, it goes to the homeowner to collect, even though homeowner did the proper thing. In dealing with cases in Vancouver, I found out there were dozens and dozens of cases where Money Mart had actually sued the homeowners for doing the right thing and putting a stop payment on the cheque when they realized there were improper things going on and yet cheque-cashing businesses went after the homeowners.
This bill would simply correct that. It is something that dates back to the 1890s. We need to ensure there is consumer protection when people have shown due diligence. The purpose of this bill is to ensure that cheque-cashing companies also show due diligence in terms of how they conduct their transactions.
I hope that makes sense. Once people understand it, they realize it is very common and we need to take action on it. I hope members of the House will support the bill.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)