Banks profit off the pandemic while essential businesses are pushed into bankruptcy

Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
2021-01-26 13:12 [p.3529]
Mr. Speaker, I am very concerned, and I am sure the member is too, about the ongoing financial peril in which a number of regional ground transportation companies find themselves.

The member is probably aware that the current president of the Nuu-Chah-Nulth Tribal Council, Judith Sayers, has called for protection for Wilson’s bus lines. It provides service to a number of remote first nations communities on Vancouver Island. It is being threatened with bankruptcy by the large commercial banks. No government program is helping it. This morning’s announcement from the Prime Minister about more details for the highly affected sectors program will not assist either because it caps new loans at $1 million.

I wonder if the hon. member for North Island—Powell River has any comments on what we could do about these very profitable banks that have lost some profit but remain profitable and their willingness to push out of business other businesses that are essential for recovery.

Rachel Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
2021-01-26 13:13 [p.3529]

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member. It is good to say hello from the northern part of Vancouver Island.

I could not agree more. There are a lot of rural, remote and indigenous communities in my riding that need accessible transportation. This has been an ongoing challenge. As we look at a recovery, making sure people can get to their appointments and get out of their communities for opportunities, health and many other concerns is pivotal, so I hope to see some support for this.

I appreciate the work that big banks do, but they certainly have enough profit. Let us make sure to focus on these really important supports for local communities.