A Response from the Ministry of Industry (Sort Of)

Posted in In The News
Posted by J. Douglas Hoyes, CA, CPA, LIT, CIRP, CBV

response-from-ministryOn May 19 I asked the question: When will the government help the average Canadian? Parliament has passed laws to make it easier for Canadians to make a proposal to their creditors and avoid personal bankruptcy, but they have not implemented these new rules. Why not? I have no idea. I can only assume that the Prime Minister and all of the other federal politicians are more worried about their political futures than they are worried about the plight of the average Canadian, and they don’t want to announce any rules that have anything to do with the word “bankruptcy.”

So, taking matters into my own hands, I sent an e-mail to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and to Industry Minister Tony Clement asking when the new rules would be brought in to force.

On May 29 I got a response from the Prime Minister, Sort Of, that basically said “we’re working on it.”

bankruptcy answers industry canada

On June 16 I received a response from Mr. Clement’s office. Actually the response came from the Director General, Marketplace Framework Policy Branch, Strategic Policy Sector, Industry Canada. (Makes me wonder: perhaps if people in government didn’t have such long titles, perhaps they could actually get something done…..). The response I got was “the government is committed to bringing in these reforms at the earliest possible opportunity.”

You can read the entire letter here.

So here’s my question: The new rules were passed by Parliament and given Royal Assent in December, 2007. It is now June, 2009. What exactly does “earliest possible opportunity” mean? Does the government honestly expect us to believe that at no time in the last 18 months has anyone had time to simply sign a piece of paper to bring in these new rules? The new rules cost the government nothing, and improve the situation of many Canadians, and many creditors. It’s a win-win, but nothing is being done.

I strongly believe that bankruptcy law should be fair to debtors and creditors, and although my letters don’t appearing to be provoking any action, I will continue to fight for fair rules for all Canadians.