February 28, 1978 (30th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Robert Lloyd Wenman

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Wenman:

I was suggesting to the House that there is no regional representation; that members chosen for directorship have in the past been and continue to be not regional in their recognition. I am suggesting a specific proposal, that the government recognize the provinces by allowing them to make some appointments to the board. If the government is afraid of the provinces and does not wish each province to recommend one appointment, then perhaps the government could choose five representatives. Or perhaps a system could be found which would, within the appointments of the federal government, recognize the regionality of Canada. This is not the situation currently and it should be.
Another matter which the government might have considered in its Bank Act revision legislation is permitting chartered banks to use provincial treasury bills as part of their secondary reserve requirements. There are several advantages to the proposal. It would lift what could be considered a monopolistic federal tax on chartered banks. The federal government's discriminatory action against the provinces in the secondary reserve requirements is typical of its lip service in recognizing regional rights and aspirations rather than do so on a realistic basis.
In 1974 after the infusion of a few more Conservative MP's from western Canada we thought the government had heard western Canada when it acceded to British Columbia's request for more regional autonomy by introducing a bill which would allow a 25 per cent equity position by a provincial government in regional chartered banks. That was three finance ministers ago.
Why did the government not accept this proposal? Was this window dressing tokenism? Or was it because the legislation that is currently being planned by the government was in fact the new socialist controlled system that the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) muses about so loudly so often? Perhaps the hon. member who has just spoken was revealing some inside information and the government is going to restrict Canadian travel by restricting the amount of money we can take out of

this country. Is that socialist policy government policy? I hope not. I hope they will make that matter clear before the next election.
Why did the government not bring forward the former bill C-7? Is it a stall to get the government past another election? Is it because the government does not want to accept the proposals presented to it or does not know what to do? Regardless of the excuse, it is inadequate. Instead it should be part of a substantial major economic package which would improve the sagging economy of this nation. The country cannot wait 12, 18 or 24 months for a new Bank Act or a new economic thrust. The country is tired of the election paralysis which has fallen over this parliament and Canada. It is time that the government did something concrete or called an election so we can get on with governing this nation.
This bill is one of the government's excuses for inaction. It is a further stall tactic. It means that on election day Canadians will choose a new government to bring in a new economic package which will include a new Bank Act and the provisions which are wanted and needed by Canada.
[ Translation]

Subtopic:   BANK ACT
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