September 20, 2000 (36th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Pierre De Savoye

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Pierre de Savoye (Portneuf, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, in this business of the banks, one thing catches my attention. It is not necessarily something that surprises me. There are many things that unfortunately have stopped surprising me in the House since 1993. But this caught my attention.
There are some big banks in Canada. There are a few, not dozens, that are big. The National Bank, not to name names, is one of these big banks.
But when it comes to a bill like the one before us, the minister establishes two categories: the big banks which are bigger and the big bank which is the smallest. It happens that the latter is the National Bank. It is not surprising that it is the smallest, because it operates primarily in Quebec and Quebec represents only one quarter of the Canadian population. It is therefore not surprising that it is the smallest of the big banks, but it is still a big bank.
One might wonder why the Minister of Finance establishes two categories of big banks. This has repercussions because the big banks in the privileged category will not be able to be easily “sold” to foreign interests, while the other big bank, the smaller one, will.
If Quebec were a country, it would not have considered passing legislation that would have allowed its big bank to fall into foreign hands.
I can understand that Canada's Minister of Finance wants to introduce legislation so that these big banks cannot fall into foreign hands. But I wonder why he is prepared to sacrifice the smallest of the big banks, which happens to be a Quebec bank, and allow it to fall into foreign hands.
The legislation in its present form worries me. I am not the only one it worries; many others are concerned. I repeat that with this legislation, the young offenders legislation and other legislation, I am tired of not yet having my own country. That day cannot come soon enough for me.
The member for Drummond could perhaps give us her view of this situation.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Financial Consumer Agency Of Canada Act
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