Madam Speaker, for the most part, the official opposition is generally supportive of the general direction of this legislation. It is our intent at this point, unless we have reason to change our opinion, to support the bill at second reading and send it to committee. It is at committee where I would like to pose my question.
I do not know whether the minister knows or not from talking to his predecessor, but discussions were held in the last minority Parliament when the government was looking for our support to carry this legislation. One of the areas that was a problem in that draft legislation, and it remains a problem in the bill, was the treatment of loans for riding associations once they had a candidate, and I will use myself as an example.
Mine is not a rich riding in terms of demographics. We always have to borrow money through a line of credit and it always takes us the whole term to pay it back. We seem to pay it off just in time to get another line of credit for the next campaign. That is just the nature of my riding, because it is made up of mostly working people who do not have a lot of money to contribute to politicians. They contribute what they can but it is not a lot.
If I am interpreting Bill C-21 correctly, we will be in a situation where to get a $20,000 line of credit, after a candidate has been chosen and the election is either about to be called or has been called, it will take 18 to 20 people at a contribution of $1,100 each, because that is the maximum, to back it up. Given that it is a political loan, banks often want dollar for dollar collateral. Using the round number of 20 people, that is a lot in terms of contributions. That money is then tied up for the campaign and cannot be contributed.
Is the minister willing to roll up his sleeves and look at making some changes in this area?