Madam Speaker, I might say that the vote that we just had is somewhat alarming in that in the last parliament closure was moved 35 times either by time allocation or by closure motions. In this parliament we find that already time allocation has been moved nine times, including the bill we are now debating.
When I talk with people in the community I talk with them in private more often than in public because in private people are more apt to say things which they would not otherwise disclose.
The amendment that we are debating is designed to prevent one family member who is part owner of a small business from taking out a loan if another family member has already done so.
With respect to financing for small business, we only hear of the times when it proves to be successful. What the government never hears about are the disastrous effects of ill-conceived loans. It is my purpose this afternoon to draw this to the attention of the House. I could go from now to midnight talking about what is designed to be a positive thing which turns out in fact to be a negative thing.
I can assure hon. members opposite that it is not very pleasant to sit in the kitchen with people who have run a third generation family business and hear their story about being put out of business because of a government loan to a competitor while they continued to struggle to survive and eventually lost their business.
This is not a rare occurrence. It is very common throughout Saskatchewan. Depending upon whom a person knows at the right time, which could be a politician, they get a loan to build a business in an area when that general trading area cannot support another business.
I would like to draw the attention of the House to a couple of instances. There were four eating establishments in a small town. Of those eating establishments, three of the four were family businesses. They had been family businesses since the town virtually began. All of sudden two of those businesses received big government loans, one in excess of $100,000 and one in excess of $125,000. The total pie was divided. There was not sufficient business to support those six eating establishments in that town. Two of the businesses which were struggling went under, while the other two businesses which received the government grants continued. I might add that one of them is now closed. We never hear what happens when government makes small business loans which create competition for a family business or some other business which is struggling to survive.
There is a long list of names. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been paid out.
There was a small cafe owner who had always paid his local taxes. He was a part of the community and supported every activity in the town. Government money came in, his money in effect, and another business moved in and forced him to dilute his business to the extent that it is no longer a profitable organization. Did that happen once? Not at all.
When we look at the budget and the amount of money that is given to small business we never know how many times it happens. I could take two hours going through all of the business places I know of that have gone out of business because the government, with disregard, put money into an area which could not support another business of that nature. It is a sad story.
I know of as many people who have been desperately hurt and ruined by the Small Business Loans Act as I do of those who have prospered. The government only tells us about those businesses which have prospered. In all fairness, we need to look from coast to coast to see those who have been hurt.
I draw the attention of members to another incident. This was in a fair sized town where there were two bakeries. Again they were both family enterprises. They were both doing well. They both supported their community. They were both engaged in such things as the town council. A person came in who knew the right person at the right time and a loan was floated. That loan was in excessive of $140,000. As a result, that person was able to keep going on government funding until they put a community owned bakery out of business. There was not enough business to support three bakeries.
This motion is designed to stop a current practice. This motion has been put forward to prevent one family member who is part owner of a small business from taking out a loan if another family member has already done so. In other words, at present it is possible for an individual who is a member of a family running a business to get another loan. Even though the first loan was not under his name, he can take out another loan for a different purpose when the business is already operating with a government loan.
What are we doing? We do not have a careful watchdog to monitor who is getting the loans and for what purpose. I am not just talking about the banks which guarantee the loans. In my province we have business development corporations that would be a better source to inform the government under this loan procedure as to what business is most likely to succeed without hurting the businesses already in place.
Where I come from I cannot afford nor do I have the time to sit and listen to those people in my cities, towns and in some cases my villages who have been totally put out of business and have moved simply because government money is going in opposition to them.
The government should reconsider this bill because a person does not deserve to lose his or her business of three generations and be wiped out with government money going in opposition to their business which has probably been in existence over the last 50 or 60 years.
I wish the government would consider this motion which I will be supporting.