Mr. Chairman, I realize there was some reference to the proposed amendment to the Fisheries Improvement Loans Act in the general discussion under the Farm Loans Act, but I thought the point I should like to raise could be more appropriately dealt with whilst dealing with the specific proposal to amend the Fisheries Improvement Loans Act.
I have one or two questions which I should like to address to the Minister of Fisheries, but as he is not here I will put them to the Minister of Finance. The question of the applicability of the assured lending program under the act for use by fishermen in re-financing loans that they already have, has been raised before.
Generally speaking, as I understand the operation of this act, the lender, in effect, requires a chattel mortgage on a fishing vessel even though there is an assured loan. I have never been able to understand why a fisherman, who may have had an unfortunate financial transaction, should not be able to take advantage of the assured lending
April 11, 1974
program which this act provides, in order to refinance his boat under more favourable terms which he may be able to secure through a bank or credit union.
If the minister would turn his mind to some earlier discussions on this subject he would recall the concern expressed by the hon. member for Skeena and myself. Long before this act was passed, the fishermen of British Columbia in many cases were almost perpetually in debt to the fish processing and manufacturing companies because of the type of lending agreement which tied them to those companies.
Since we are now opening up this act I should like to ask the minister whether this matter has been under consideration, and if the regulations will be changed to give more flexibility to this program, so that fishermen who wish to get out of an unfavourable agreement through refinancing, can do so under this program.
Subtopic: FARM IMPROVEMENT, SMALL BUSINESSES AND FISHERIES IMPROVEMENT LOANS ACTS AMENDMENTS RESPECTING LOANS AND GOVERNMENT LIABILITY