Mr. Speaker, I remind my colleague from Scarborough—Rouge River that the whole principle behind the bill is to take big money out of politics so there is no unfair competitive advantage to any person running for politics because of who he or she knows.
I want to challenge my colleague on this idea and ask him to elaborate on it. Where does he get the idea that it would be better to have the loan loophole come from individuals rather than from financial institutions? The whole premise of that clause in the bill is to avoid the “good ol' boy” connections as well as the connections with business and unions, where they are not allowed to donate a single penny to an election campaign.
Under the current loophole, my union, the carpenters union, could loan me $100,000 and not push me to pay it back. That would be fundamentally wrong. It would give me an inside competitive advantage over other people running in the same election campaign who may not have connections with a union, or a business, or a rich uncle or an individual lending it to themselves. For example, it is fundamentally wrong for a guy who owns a car dealership to have his dealership loan him $250,000. However, it is perfectly legitimate for that same individual to get a $30,000 or $50,000 start-up loan from a bank or a credit union. In fact, it is necessary if we are to give equal access to the electoral system to all people who want to seek office.
My colleague has a convoluted, pretzel logic. He is a complicated man and an intellectual, but this reasoning is so convoluted that it does not hold water.