How did your Eastern Ontario MP vote on the Consumer-led Banking Act?

Left to Right: Michael Barrett, Mark Gerretsen, Shelby Kramp-Neuman, Scott Reid and Ryan Williams

Welcome to the first instalment of the Hometownist/Kingstonist feature How did your Eastern Ontario MP/MPP vote? We follow how our elected representatives voted on key issues and offer them the opportunity to explain why. Is there an upcoming vote you’d like to see coverage on? Let us know at hollie@hometownist.com.

A bill brought to the House of Commons by Bay of Quinte MP Ryan Williams passed its second reading on Wednesday, March 20.

Bill C-365, also known as the “Consumer-led Banking Act,” is described as “an Act respecting the implementation of a consumer-led banking system for Canadians,” and aims to promote competition in the banking industry.

According to the bill, benefits will include lower bank fees and interest rates for consumers and small and medium-sized businesses; support for financially marginalized Canadians; and promote opportunities for Canadians with a limited credit history, including newcomers to Canada.

Below is how our MPs voted. Hometownist reached out several times to give each MP an opportunity to explain the reason behind their vote, and received replies from Gerretsen and Williams. Reid’s office says he was unavailable to comment, and no response was received from Barrett or Kramp-Neuman.

Michael Barrett, Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes (Conservative) – Yea

Mark Gerretsen, Kingston and the Islands (Liberal) – Nay

Here’s what Gerretsen had to say:

As outlined in the 2023 Fall Economic Statement, the government announced significant steps in moving forward with a consumer-drive banking framework. The government plans to introduce legislation through Budget 2024 to establish a consumer-driven banking framework that would regulate access to financial data. This framework will ensure that Canadians and small businesses have safe and secure access to financial services and products that help them manage and improve their finances.

The government’s current plans to establish a consumer-driven banking framework would render Bill C-365 moot.

Moreover, this private members bill is a plan that would see the government move slower on open banking than the current timeline and puts forward no details on the implementation for a consumer-driven banking regime.

Shelby Kramp-Neuman, Hastings-Lennox and Addington (Conservative) – Yea

Scott Reid, Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston – Yea

Ryan Williams, Bay of Quinte (Conservative) – Yea

Here’s what Williams had to say:

“One-third of Canadians are upset with their financial institutions. Canadians pay some of the highest banking fees in the world. The banks will not share people’s financial information. If you want the freedom to deal with another bank or institution, the banks feel that they own that information and will not share it.”

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