Madam Speaker, I take exception to the government taking credit, when it introduced this legislation, for the banking industry being able to survive over the last number of years in Canada.
I want the government to recognize the fact that as the world economy was going into a downward spiral, Canada stood out on top. Other economies in the world recognized how strong and healthy Canada's financial markets were. They did that because of inspirational leaders like Paul Martin and Jean Chrétien and Liberal administrations that believed in having a regulated industry. Those individuals did more than anything the Conservative government has ever done to protect the integrity of the financial institutions we have in Canada today. The government needs to be aware of that fact.
When the Conservatives talk about financial responsibilities, they need to be aware of the fact that when they took office there was a $60 billion surplus handed to them. The Conservatives need to recognize that they are the ones who are messing up priorities, and we need only look at what they are doing to seniors in this wealthy country of Canada.
I would ask my colleague about the potential role of credit unions in this regard. Over the last five to ten years our credit unions have been expanding in places where banks have been withdrawing. They have been making it more affordable for the average consumer to do more banking, whether online or offline or going to the counter for services. I believe there is a good role for credit unions in the Canadian financial market in the future.
I wonder if the member would comment on how important our credit unions are in Canada today.