On February 7, 2008, Ted Michalos and Douglas Hoyes appeared as expert witnesses before the Senate Standing Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce to provide our testimony on bankruptcy reform, and the proposed changes to the bankruptcy rules in Canada. As readers of the Hoyes Michalos Blog will recall, back in December I posted an article detailing the new bankruptcy rules, and soon after I announced our trip to Ottawa.
Despite very bad weather that cancelled our flight and left us with an eight hour drive in a blizzard to Ottawa, we arrived and spent over an hour testifying before the Senators.
In my opening remarks I reminded the Senators that people who get into financial trouble “are real people who in many cases have lost their jobs, gone through a marriage break-up, suffered through an illness, and after these personal tragedies they are faced with an insurmountable burden of debt.
These are not bad people. We believe it’s important that when Parliamentarians draft bankruptcy legislation they remember that real people are affected.”
We were the first personal bankruptcy trustees to appear before the Committee, and I believe our comments where well received. I’m not naive enough to believe that our testimony will change the course of bankruptcy legislation in the future, but I do believe that the Senators have a better understanding of the plight of the average Canadian who gets into financial difficulty.