Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague across the way for his presentation. When we talk about pension funds and covering them in the manner that he has suggested, it raises a question in my mind and in the minds of many people. In trying to do something that is very helpful for workers, it could be very negative to workers. Financial institutions must lend money to businesses to keep businesses running. They must allow businesses to loan and borrow money to start new ventures and move forward.
If we stop and think about the methods of pension plans, if there is a shortfall in investment, for instance the stock market goes down and the pension funds were invested in the stock market, or the interest rates are not as high as required to pay the pensions, then people who lend money to small businesses might stop and think about whether they should continue to lend it or whether they should lend it at a much higher rate, which would curtail business dramatically in our country.
The Liberal government has looked at that pension plan and has said that it will ensure that any dollars collected by the employer, any inputs the employers have made, have to be paid before the settlement of bankruptcy, and they would receive a priority in that case. All funds that went to the pension plan must be brought up to date before that final settlement is made. That protects the workers in the most sincere way possible while not preventing loans to businesses and others.
We all have to be afraid. If small business does not have the money in investments, it will be unable to proceed. Everyone knows the biggest problem for small business is dollar flow or cash available for ventures moving forward.
Maybe in trying to help one way, we may hurt another way unintentionally. I would just leave that with the member to think about.