Banking on dissent

The governing Liberals can bank on opposition, at least from this area, over plans for credit unions.

In last week’s report, I raised the fact that Ottawa will restrict credit unions from using terms such as bank, banker and banking.

The reaction from citizens: an overwhelming opposition and, in many cases, bewilderment.

I should also add that the sheer number of responses I heard was also significant. Clearly, this is an issue that many in our region have strong feelings about.

What can be done about it? The legislation that allows Ottawa to restrict credit unions from using these words is contained in the Bank Act.

I am drafting a Private Members Bill to amend the Bank Act that will remove these language restrictions and allow credit unions to continue to operate as they have for many decades now.

Unfortunately, the order that Private Members Bills can be debated in the House of Commons is decided by a lottery style draw that does not allow this bill to be presented in a timely manner.

In the interim, a local citizen is insetting up an online petition approved by the House of Commons that people can sign online.

If there is strong support for this petition, I am hopeful that the Liberal government will either amend the Bank Act to remove this attack on credit unions or intervene and ask that the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions review this enforcement decision.

Almost without exception, I have not heard any support for restricting credit unions from using terms like bank, banker or banking. 

As one citizen wondered: will food banks be targeted by Ottawa next?

My question this week: 

  • would you support my Private Members Bill to amend the Bank Act and by extension would you be willing to sign an online petition opposing this attack on our credit unions?

I can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free 1-800-665-8711


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About the Author

Dan Albas, Conservative member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, is the shadow minister of innovation, science, economic development and internal trade, and sits on the standing committee on finance.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

In British Columbia, Dan has been consistently one of the lowest spending MPs on office and administration related costs despite operating two offices to better serve local constituents.

Dan is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

He can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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