Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by hundreds of people who live in rural parts of the riding of Peterborough, particularly people of Keene who have recently lost their only bank.
They point out that rural Canada contributes substantially to the national economy. The Canadian agriculture and agri-food industry is the third largest employer in Canada. The tourism industry is also a large employer in many areas of rural Canada. Residents of rural areas often have difficulty in finding any incentive to support local initiatives and businesses due to the lack of banking facilities.
The petitioners call upon Parliament to work toward ensuring that the needs and concerns of residents of rural Canada are addressed and that their access to local banking facilities is maintained, thus encouraging businesses to remain a viable part of rural Canada.