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House of Commons Hansard #100 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was banks.

Topics

Question No. 455Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

With respect to the “Projects Map” (located at the following link: http://www.actionplan.gc.ca/eng/map.asp) on the “Canada’s Economic Action Plan” website: (a) what is the total number of place marks, icons or symbols that have been uploaded to the project map since the project map was created; (b) what is the total number of place marks, icons or symbols that remain on the project map since the project map was created; (c) what is the total number of place marks, icons or symbols that have been removed from the project map since the project map was created; (d) for the answers to each of (a), (b) and (c), what is (i) the date it was uploaded to the project map, (ii) the date it was modified on the project map, (iii) the date it was removed from the project map, (iv) the geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude), (v) the location, specifying the address, city, riding, and province, (vi) the Project ID or the name of the project or program, (vii) the name of the related initiative, (viii) the description of the project, (ix) the address of the website containing additional information about the project, (x) the date of the funding announcement, (xi) the total project cost at the time of the announcement, (xii) the value of the federal contribution to the project at the time of the announcement, (xiii) the company or companies who were contracted in association with the program or project, specifying the amount of funding each was to receive for its services and the final amount they received for their service, (xiv) the final amount of the project cost, (xv) the final amount of the federal contribution that was delivered; (e) for all projects or programs listed in (d)(vi), did the projects or program meet the government’s completion deadline and, if not, why; and (f) for all projects or programs listed in (d)(vi), (i) was the government’s approval of any project or program subsequently withdrawn and, if so, why and on what date, (ii) were any of the projects or programs that the government had approved for funding subsequently cancelled and, if so, why and on what date?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 456Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

With regard to television advertising (commercials) which promotes Canada’s Economic Action Plan: (a) how many television advertisements have been (i) created in total, broken down by year, (ii) given an identification number or name or a Media Authorization Number (ADV number); (b) what is the identification number or name or ADV number for each advertisement listed in (a)(ii); and (c) for the answers to each part of (a), (i) what is the length (minutes and seconds) of each advertisement, (ii) what is the cost for the production or creation of each advertisement, (iii) what companies were used to produce or create each advertisement, (iv) what is the number of times each advertisement has aired, specifying total number of times and total length of time (minutes and seconds), broken down by year and by month for each advertisement, (v) what was the total cost to air or publish each advertisement, broken down by year and by month, (vi) what criteria were used to select each of the advertisement placements, (vii) what media outlets were used to air or publish each advertisement, broken down by year and by month, (viii) what was the total amount spent per outlet, broken down by year and by month?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 457Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

With regard to farms and farming in Canada: (a) what is the government’s definition of (i) individual farms, (ii) family farms, (iii) family farm corporations, (iv) non-family farm corporations; (b) for the answer to each part of (a), for each of the fiscal years from 2000-2001 to 2011-2012, across Canada as a whole and broken down by province and territory, what is the total number of (i) individual farms, (ii) family farms, (iii) family farm corporations, (iv) non-family farm corporations; (c) for the answer to each part of (b), and for each of the fiscal years from 2000-2001 to 2011-2012, across Canada as a whole and broken down by province and territory, what is the total number of farms by farm type based on the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) farm-typing categories; (d) for the answer to each part of (b), and for each of the fiscal years from 2000-2001 to 2011-2012, across Canada as a whole and broken down by province and territory, what is the total number of individual farms, family farms, family farm corporations, non-family farm corporations owned entirely by (i) a Canadian citizen, (ii) a Canadian corporation or company with a head office in Canada, specifying the name of the corporation or company, location, address, city, and province of the head office; (e) for the answer to each part of (b), and for each of the fiscal years from 2000-2001 to 2011-2012, across Canada as a whole and broken down by province and territory, what is the total number of individual farms, family farms, family farm corporations, non-family farm corporations owned entirely by (i) a non-Canadian citizen, (ii) a foreign corporation or company, specifying the name of the corporation or company, the country in which the head office is located and if they have a branch office in Canada, specifying the location, address, city, and province of the head office; (f) for the answer to each part of (b), and for each of the fiscal years from 2000-2001 to 2011-2012, across Canada as a whole and broken down by province and territory, what is the total number of individual farms, family farms, family farm corporations, non-family farm corporations owned in part by (i) a non-Canadian citizen, (ii) a foreign corporation or company, specifying the name of the corporation or company, the country in which the head office is located and, if they have a branch office in Canada, specifying the location, address, city, and province of the head office; (g) for the answer to each part of (b), (d), (e), and (f), for each of the fiscal years from 2000-2001 to 2011-2012, across Canada as a whole and broken down by province and territory, what is (i) the total area owned in hectares, (ii) the total farmed area in hectares, (iii) the total area in hectares rented or leased from others, (iv) the smallest and largest farm in hectares owned, farmed, rented or leased from others, (v) the type of farming conducted based on NAICS farm-typing categories; (h) for the answer to each part of (b)(ii)(iii)(iv), (d)(ii)(iii)(iv), (e)(ii)(iii)(iv), and (f)(ii)(iii)(iv), for each of the fiscal years from 2000-2001 to 2011-2012, across Canada as a whole and broken down by province and territory, what is (i) the average reported annual revenues, profits, and losses, (ii) the total amount of federal taxes collected, broken down by the different types of federal tax applicable, (iii) the total amount of Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Credit (SR&ED) claimed and the total amount refunded; (i) for the answer to each part of (b)(ii)(iii)(iv), (d)(ii)(iii)(iv), (e)(ii)(iii)(iv), and (f)(ii)(iii)(iv), for each of the fiscal years from 2000-2001 to 2011-2012, across Canada as a whole and broken down by province and territory, what is (i) the total number sold or ownership that was transferred to a Canadian citizen, (ii) the total number sold or ownership that was transferred to a Canadian corporation or company with a head office in Canada specifying the name of the corporation, location, address, city, and province of the head office; (j) for the answer to each part of (b)(ii)(iii)(iv), (d)(ii)(iii)(iv), (e)(ii)(iii)(iv), and (f)(ii)(iii)(iv), for each of the fiscal years from 2000-2001 to 2011-2012, across Canada as a whole and broken down by province and territory, what is (i) the total number sold or ownership that was transferred to a non-Canadian citizen, (ii) the total number sold or ownership that was transferred to a foreign corporation or company, specifying the name of the corporation or company, the country in which the head office is located and if they have a branch office in Canada, specifying the location, address, city, and province of the head office; (k) for the answer to each part of (h) and (i), for each of the fiscal years from 2000-2001 to 2011-2012, across Canada as a whole and broken down by province and territory, what is (i) the total area in hectares sold or ownership that was transferred, (ii) the total farmed area in hectares sold or ownership that was transferred, (iii) the largest farm in hectares owned and/or farmed which was sold or ownership that was transferred, (iv) the total number of farms sold or ownership that was transferred by farm type based on the NAICS farm-typing categories; (l) for the answer to each part of (d) e), (f)(ii), what is the total area and farmed area owned by each corporation for each of the fiscal years from 2000-2001 to 2011-2012 across Canada?

(Return tabled)

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Madam Speaker, I ask that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The House proceeded to the consideration of Bill S-5, An Act to amend the law governing financial institutions and to provide for related and consequential matters, as reported (without amendment) from the committee.

Speaker's RulingFinancial System Review ActGovernment Orders

10:10 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

There is one motion in amendment standing on the notice paper for the report stage of Bill S-5. Motion No. 1 will be debated and voted upon.

I shall now propose Motion No. 1 to the House.

Motion in AmendmentFinancial System Review ActGovernment Orders

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

moved:

Motion No. 1

That Bill S-5 be amended by deleting Clause 212.

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House to talk about our amendment, which seeks to delete clause 212 of Bill S-5, which reads:

The Superintendent, any Deputy Superintendent, any officer or employee of the Office or any person acting under the direction of the Superintendent, is not a compellable witness in any civil proceedings in respect of any matter coming to their knowledge as a result of exercising any of their powers or performing any of their duties or functions under this Act or the Acts listed in the schedule.

This clause is a concern for us. This aspect of the bill gives the institution immunity with regard to the transparency of its decisions. This is something that affects us and with which we disagree.

When we talk about Bill S-5 in its ensemble, I would like to say that the NDP is supportive of Bill S-5 and will be voting in favour of the bill. However, I would like to mention our concerns about the process regarding the bill and the results that are before us today.

The government is obliged to make revisions to the Bank Act and revisions to financial institutions on a regular interval. It is very important for the government to actually look at the situation of the banking industry in our country, look at its impacts on ordinary families and to hold a broad degree of public hearings to come forward with a bill that provides those substantial revisions to the Bank Act while protecting the fundamental stability of our financial institutions. The government has failed to do that.

The NDP has been the foremost advocate of maintaining strong and rigorous financial accountability around our banking system. Members will recall the many times when the previous Liberal government and the current Conservative government talked about weakening those regulations we ensured that we had rigorous accounting within our banking system. It has always been the NDP that has stood foremost for stability in our banking sector and ensuring at the same time that there are rigorous regulations that apply.

It is because of the defence that the NDP has mounted in the House of Commons that we continue to have stability in our financial institutions. When we compare it to some of the others around the world, when we look at what happened in Iceland and the meltdown that occurred in the United States, we can understand the risk that comes when the government moves to reduce regulation in our banking sector.

We certainly are the strongest proponents in the House of having rigorous regulation governing our banking sector. Anyone on the other side who doubts that only need look at Hansard over the past few decades to see that tradition which we have established in Parliament.

We also believe in protecting the public interest and the interests of ordinary families. The way Bill S-5 was brought forward, the fact that very few were even aware that these revisions to the Bank Act were taking place, the fact that the bill originated in the Senate, that it was brought forward in the House at a late time and had to be adopted in April did not allow for rigorous analysis of our current banking sector. That simply did not happen.

The finance committee did have some hearings. I want to get back to some of the comments that were raised in the few hearings the finance committee had on the subject. However, the reality is, when a bill is brought forward at a late date, when the deadline is a fixed date in April when the bill has to be adopted, although the NDP has co-operated, we have raised concerns about how remarkably late and how few public hearings could be held into what is such an important matter. Some of the witnesses who appeared before finance committee raised these issues as well.

The coordinator of the Canadian Community Reinvestment Coalition flagged the fact that with record first quarter profits we have seen in the banking industry, banking profits are up 5.3% compared with 2011. These profits have occurred while raising bank fees and cutting jobs in the sector. The coordinator of the Canadian Community Reinvestment Coalition also said that past government actions have been ineffective in ensuring Canada's big banks are not making excessive profits from gouging customers, cutting services and failing to lend to job-creating Canadian businesses. This view was also shared by Option consommateurs in Quebec. Jean-François Vinet said that the bill does nothing to protect consumers from criminally high interest rates on credit cards.

This is why we object to how the government has brought this bill forward at a late date, in a scattered fashion, without any real intent to get public feedback on revisions to the Bank Act.

It is the end of March and this bill needs to be adopted within a few weeks' time, and yet, there are issues around how ordinary families are impacted by the Bank Act and by the government's failure to take action. We feel that is profoundly unfortunate.

We are not talking about a situation that is unimportant. Under the Conservative government, we see that Canadian families are experiencing a record level of household debt, a level of debt that we have never seen in our entire history. People might say that Tory times are tough times. It is very true that under the Conservative government, Canadians are poorer, when we look at the high debt levels and the real wage reduction that Canadians have experienced over the last year or two.

It is a matter of broad concern to us that while Canadian families are struggling under a record level of debt, the government did not choose to bring forward in a public way revisions to the Bank Act to allow Canadians to have their say on what is happening with the current structure of the Bank Act and financial institutions and how current levels of high interest rates are impacting them.

Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney warned that the ratio of debt to income will rise within Canada from an already alarming record 153% that was reached last year. Many think it will approach the landmark 160% hit by the United States before the United States tipped into crisis more than three years ago.

We are talking about a crisis level in household debt. We are talking about a crisis level in how Canadian families that we represent in communities across the country from coast to coast to coast are coping with these record debt loads. A not unimportant element of those record debt loads is the high interest rates that are charged by the financial institutions.

Bill S-5 originated in the Senate and was brought to the House of Commons at a late date and after very little public input. The finance committee was not allowed to conduct the kind of public hearings that could lead to changes in the Bank Act. As the few consumer representatives that were able to come before the finance committee stated very clearly, nothing in the revisions contained within the bill deals with the fundamental questions that we have been raising in the House on what Canadians are feeling form coast to coast.

Every single member of the NDP caucus is acutely aware of the crisis levels of household debt. We have raised the issue in the House, and yet the government does not seem to think it is important. These record levels of household debt, unparalleled in our history, that Canadian families are experiencing seem for the Conservatives to be a normal manner of living.

Given the profound job loss that has been experienced over the past few months, the tens of thousands of jobs lost and the reduction in real wages that Canadian families have experienced, we think that the government should be looking to help Canadian families.

We brought forward a series of amendments in committee to address some of the issues that we felt were not being addressed by the process around Bill S-5. I have already mentioned the lack of public input, the late date at which the entire process was begun, the late date by which the government brought the bill from the Senate to the House of Commons, allowing for scant debate.

Understanding as we all do that there is a fixed deadline when the bill has to be passed, we endeavoured to bring forward a series of amendments. Every single one of those amendments was refused by the Conservative government. We think the Bank Act revisions should be treating Canadian families—

Motion in AmendmentFinancial System Review ActGovernment Orders

10:20 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

Order. Questions and comments. The hon. member for Winnipeg North.

Motion in AmendmentFinancial System Review ActGovernment Orders

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Madam Speaker, I found the member's comments somewhat interesting as he tried to portray the NDP as some sort of saviour of the banking industry. We all know that is not quite true. I can appreciate that many New Democratic MPs want to be Liberals; they just do not want to proclaim themselves as Liberals.

Having said that, I am wondering if my colleague recognizes that the banking industry in Canada in comparison to other countries around the world is doing exceptionally well. There is no doubt about that. However, those regulations were put into place by individuals like Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin. They are the ones who built the banking industry to the degree that it is envied around the world. Instead of trying to rewrite history, would the member acknowledge that it was in fact Liberal Party administrations that built the system we have today, which is the envy of the world? That is the reality.

Motion in AmendmentFinancial System Review ActGovernment Orders

10:25 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Madam Speaker, the member is new to the House and I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt because he obviously was not in the House of Commons when the former Liberal government pushed to deregulate the banking sector and pushed for bank mergers. It was the New Democratic Party in the House of Commons that fought that, with the support of the public across the country from coast to coast to coast. We pushed back at the Liberal government that wanted to deregulate and promote bank mergers.

Every single member of the NDP has continued to support rigorous banking regulation. That is what we stand for because it protects the public interest. That is why we have been such a vocal team in the House defending rigorous banking regulation. After we have seen what has happened—

Motion in AmendmentFinancial System Review ActGovernment Orders

10:25 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

Order. Questions and comments, the hon. member for Western Arctic.

Motion in AmendmentFinancial System Review ActGovernment Orders

10:25 a.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Madam Speaker, my colleague is on the right track when he talks about the state of Canadian home debt. He could have mentioned as well that our housing market is in a bubble. The price of housing has escalated to a point where, if the interest rate moves up over the next couple of years, many young Canadians will be severely impacted by it. We are in a situation now where, with any change in world politics, we can see a huge increase in the price of oil. The price of oil is already at record levels. All these things are pointing to the fact that we are living in a world where we think we have a solid and sustainable economy, but that is simply not the case right now.

Motion in AmendmentFinancial System Review ActGovernment Orders

10:25 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Madam Speaker, that is a valid question. We are at crisis levels of household debt, unparalleled in our history under the Conservative government. We have seen real wage reductions. Under the current government, Canadians are poorer than they were a few years ago. That is an undeniable fact. There have been job losses across the country. There have been factory closures from British Columbia through to Atlantic Canada, Ontario and Quebec. There is an erosion of our manufacturing sector.

The Leader of the Opposition, the member for Outremont, spoke yesterday in the House about half a million manufacturing jobs being lost. The member for Western Arctic is absolutely right to point out as well that any jobs the government has created actually pay $10,000 a year less than the many hundreds of thousands of jobs they have lost.

The member for Western Arctic is right that under the Conservatives, Canadians are poorer.

Motion in AmendmentFinancial System Review ActGovernment Orders

10:25 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

The member for Compton—Stanstead for questions and comments. He has 30 seconds to ask a very brief question.

Motion in AmendmentFinancial System Review ActGovernment Orders

10:25 a.m.

NDP

Jean Rousseau NDP Compton—Stanstead, QC

Madam Speaker, I believe that the amendment is perfectly relevant because the clause would grant immunity to people who have power over extremely important legislation in Bill S-5.

Once again, senior bureaucrats would hide behind the iron curtain that the Conservatives are erecting to thwart anyone who does not agree with their party. I support this amendment, and I would like my colleague to explain why the House should agree to it today.

Motion in AmendmentFinancial System Review ActGovernment Orders

10:30 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

The hon. member for Burnaby—New Westminster has 30 seconds.

Motion in AmendmentFinancial System Review ActGovernment Orders

10:30 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Compton—Stanstead for his question. He is a new MP, and he is doing very good work in the House.

Before May 2, and even before then, the Conservatives said that they would govern in a transparent fashion, that they would respect democracy, and that they would operate out in the open. Since May 2, the government has not been transparent, nor has it shown any respect for Canadian democracy or the House of Commons. We will continue to work for greater transparency—

Motion in AmendmentFinancial System Review ActGovernment Orders

10:30 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

The hon. member for Mississauga South.

Motion in AmendmentFinancial System Review ActGovernment Orders

10:30 a.m.

Conservative

Stella Ambler Conservative Mississauga South, ON

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to speak in support of Bill S-5, Financial System Review Act, at third and final reading.

As members may recall from the second reading debate, today's bill is the result of the long established practice of reviewing legislation governing federally regulated financial institutions every five years. This practice sets Canada apart from almost every country in the world and ensures the safety and stability of Canada's financial system. This practice has also been praised as an important reason that Canada's financial system remains the soundest in the world.

Earlier this year, the independent Financial Stability Board praised this practice when it said:

...a review of all legislation to ensure that it is current, contributes to stability and growth of the financial sector and, by extension, allows Canada to remain a global leader in financial services.

The present five year review process began with an open and public consultation in September 2010 when all Canadians were invited to provide their views on how to best improve our financial system.

Before continuing today, I want to recognize and thank the members of the House finance committee for their timely review and support of today's legislation. During the committee's consideration, representatives of groups appeared, ranging from the Credit Union Central of Canada, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada and more. We thank all the witnesses before the committee for taking the time to appear and give their thoughts. I will note that the witnesses were united in their belief that keeping Canada's financial system safe and secure was a very important goal.

Without a doubt, Canada's financial system is important to our economy and jobs as well. In fact, it employs over 750,000 men and women in good, well paying jobs and represents about 7% of Canada's overall economy. What is more, Canada is a world leader in this field and a model for the world to look to, especially during the recent economic turbulence.

We did not nationalize, bail out or buy equity stakes in banks like the U.S., the U.K. and Europe. In the words of Constantine Passaris, professor of economics at the University of New Brunswick:

The Canadian way is to record our national achievements in a low-key and understated manner. There is one economic achievement however, that has made the world stand up and notice. Indeed, in this case, we cannot hide from the international spotlight and we can proudly accept the global applause for our Canadian banking system.

At the end of the day, Canadian banks proved resilient in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. Furthermore, they remain solid financial institutions capable of serving as the catalyst for the economic recovery. Indeed, they are a global beacon and a role model for exemplary banking in the 21st century.

It is little wonder, then, that over the past four years the World Economic Forum has ranked our financial system as the soundest in the world. The financial system review act would help ensure Canada continues to have a financial system so safe and secure that it remains a model for other countries around the world.

As I mentioned earlier, in order to keep the legal framework of our financial system up to date, Canada reviews this legislation on a five year cycle. Ordinarily this review cycle is sufficient to keep pace with new developments. However, faced in 2008 with the deepest and most wide-reaching financial and economic crisis since the Great Depression, our Conservative government took more immediate action.

Between 2008 and 2011, we took important steps to make our financial system more stable, reduce systemic risks and ensure we had the flexibility and power to support financial institutions during a crisis. Our actions included enhancing the power of the Bank of Canada to provide liquidity to financial institutions, expanding the tools available to the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation for resolving a troubled institution and taking proactive steps to protect and strengthen the Canadian housing market.

Our approach proved effective as the Canadian financial system remained a rock of stability through the global financial crisis and won international praise. In the words of the Irish Independent:

The Canadian system has won praise worldwide, with US President Barack Obama among its fans.

The Canadian system is undoubtedly an excellent model....

Our government has not been sitting on its hands. Instead, we have improved many key elements of our financial system and strengthened it by adding new tools. Therefore, it will not shock members to learn that, in public consultations done in advance of today's bill, most agreed that a major overhaul was not needed. That is why the financial system review act focused on minor yet significant refinements of the system, not a major overhaul.

I will briefly highlight one such key element in today's bill that has attracted some attention.

The financial crisis highlighted the importance of evaluating the overall size of financial institutions, their global linkages and the impact these factors have on financial stability, and the best interests of Canada's financial system. As a partial response to lessons learned, today's bill proposes to reinstate an existing ministerial approval for select foreign acquisitions of financial institutions.

I will provide historical background. In 1992, the government of the day amended the legislation to allow federally regulated financial institutions to own a foreign subsidiary or to hold a substantial investment in a foreign institution with the approval of the minister. In 2001, the requirement for ministerial approval and review by the Department of Finance was repealed and oversight was limited to the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions.

However, since 2001, the global banking crisis has highlighted new risk factors that support greater oversight to keep our financial systems secure. As such, we are reinstating some of those historical oversight provisions that were repealed in early 2001. This would simply add ministerial approval if a federally regulated financial institution acquires a major foreign entity which increases its assets by more than 10%. The criteria that the minister could consider are hard-wired in the legislation, that being the stability and best interest of the financial sector. The timeline for approval is also hard-wired. The legislation requires the minister's consideration in 30 days or it would be deemed approved. In effect, the minister has 30 days to deny or ask for an extension. This would likely apply only rarely. In fact, since 2004, there have been only a small number of cases where the proposed legislation would have applied.

I would note that the reaction from academics, bankers and the Superintendent of Financial Institutions herself have been quite supportive of the provision. For instance, Michael King, professor of finance at the Ivey Business School said:

This kind of a rule is actually one of the reasons why Canadian banks weathered the crisis so well over the years.

Canadian banks have done well. And it’s helped the Canadian economy to have such stable banks.

Our Conservative government believes that modern and effective regulation is important for consumers and for a prosperous economy. By enacting the financial system review act, we will ensure that our financial system remains safe and secure. That is why I ask all members of this House to support Bill S-5.

Motion in AmendmentFinancial System Review ActGovernment Orders

10:35 a.m.

London North Centre Ontario

Conservative

Susan Truppe ConservativeParliamentary Secretary for Status of Women

Madam Speaker, I would like to ask my colleague why authority to approve acquisitions by banks is being returned to the minister.