May 16, 1978 (30th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Anthony Chisholm Abbott (Minister of State (Small Businesses))


Mr. Abbott:

They probably have not heard about it yet. If the hon. member would promote the bill and the act with his bank managers, as I have been trying to do, he would find that they are much more responsive. It is interesting that last year there was some $80 million in such loans by the banks under the act notwithstanding the fact they did not like it. I am told

by those managers who are enjoying a higher volume of business that they find it a very good business indeed as a result of greater utilization of the act to the benefit of small business.
The hon. member raised the problem of certain businesses that do not deserve to be able to use the act. I do not think it is all that important. If the banks want to deal with a business that may have an affluent parent company, it does not cost the taxpayers any money. The bank simply takes the guarantee of the federal government to help repay the loan. Assuming it is a solvent subsidiary, the problem of security does not exist. I doubt there are many companies in that area which would need to avail themselves of that. However, that is just a matter of opinion. Considering this is a precise area we have brought up-to-date, I think that contradicts the hon. member's suggestion that we have done very little in that area.
I would add a number of other things that we have done. During the budget debate I discussed such areas apropos of what he was talking about in the area of paper burden. 1 realize he was generous enough to say we have started this program. I would like to see more done more quickly in the area of paper work elimination. However, I am convinced that, given a fair period of time since the organization was set up, very substantial results will be achieved.
I am hopeful that within a few weeks we can place before the public several examples of where the controller of paper burden can demonstrate that he has done his job.

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