Thomas Hockin (Minister for Science; Minister of State (Small Businesses and Tourism))
The member for Kenora-Rainy River raises a very important issue on which we have been working for the last 38 or 39 months on an almost regular basis. I talked with the Canadian Bankers' Association and heads of the major banks about their policies concerning loans. I think he is very right to mention it. It can almost be more important than anything else.
Since I talked to them in the past year the banks have guaranteed to me that they will no longer maintain outright prohibitions against regions, sectors, and all these things they were doing.
If they are doing this privately and the member has picked up that people in his region cannot get loans, I would like to know about it because they assured me they would no longer do that.
Subtopic: ALLOTTED DAY, S. O. 81-THE ECONOMY