It only actually has a value to anyone in the case of a default.
The reason this is important is that earlier Ms. Watts was trying to ascertain what this bank would do that can't already be done. Mr. Campbell was very honest. He said that it is a tool to underwrite. Underwriting means that the person whose name it is written under is responsible for the risk. This is a $35-billion taxpayer-funded underwriter, which means that the taxpayer will be responsible in the event that there are cost overruns or revenue shortfalls. The only difference, the only thing new in this is that we are nationalizing, not privatizing actually but nationalizing, something that's currently private.
In the event that Mr. Marchi's clients, whom he represents, go over budget without a loan guarantee, the lender loses that money. However, under this new proposal, the taxpayers lose the money because they would be the underwriter, according to Mr. Campbell. That's what we have here that's new, a gigantic nationalization of the financial risk of infrastructure projects.
Under the status quo, municipalities can sign fixed-price contracts with builders. If those builders go over budget, they eat the extra cost, unless they have a loan guarantee from the government, in which case the taxpayer would pick up that cost. In my riding, a builder went bankrupt while he was building a bridge. The good news is that there was a private guarantor who picked up the cost and finished the project at no extra cost to taxpayers. A loan guarantee from the taxpayer would have transferred that risk back onto the government.
I have a very direct question for Mr. Campbell. If a company takes a loan to build infrastructure, receives a loan guarantee, and defaults on the loan and there is a default loss—that is, any collateral left is sold and there is still loss—