This past week I threw my full support behind Bill C-379, which if passed, would amend the Bank Act to allow the use of the words “bank”, “banker” and “banking” by Credit Unions that are provincially regulated.
I seconded the legislation and have been working with local Credit Unions to make the necessary changes. The legislation was introduced in response to an advisory issued June 30 by the federal Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, which is now taking a strict interpretation of the Bank Act. Based on this interpretation, the federal government could lay criminal charges against any credit union that uses the term “bank,” “banker,” or “banking”.
The federal government’s recent action in telling Credit Unions to stop using the words their members use to describe the work they do is absurd. This is absolutely ludicrous and is another sign of how out of touch Liberals truly are. That’s why our Conservative team is fighting back.
Since the announcement by the federal bank regulator, which banned the words to describe the services they offer Canadians, hundreds of Westman residents have signed petitions demanding the Liberals take action. To date, the Liberals have not promised to fix the problem and Conservative MPs are now leading the charge.
Before Parliament resumed in September, I hosted a meeting with the various Credit Unions in Western Manitoba to discuss ways to lobby the government to make the necessary changes and apply more public pressure on the government. It was at that meeting that I, along with my colleague Robert Sopuck, the MP for Dauphin-Swan River-Neepawa, spoke about how we will continue to speak out in Ottawa and to keep the issue front and centre in the media.
I am vigorously supporting Bill C-379 and Westman Credit Unions in this fight. I will always stand up for them. Thousands of Westman residents are members and in some circumstances, the Credit Union is the only financial institution left in the community.
In the weeks ahead I will build up support for the legislation and will work across party lines to pitch its merits.
While others in Ottawa are spending their time on other matters, like ending up on the front cover of Rolling Stone and talking about their socks, our Conservative team is standing up for common sense. I know we can pass this legislation. Let’s get it done.