OTTAWA – Conservative Members of Parliament, Michael Cooper and Pierre Poilievre, are calling on the Finance Minister to allow all credit unions to deliver the government’s promised $40,000 emergency small business loans.

“EDC does not recognize a single Alberta credit union to be an approved lender, which means that thousands of small businesses will face longer delays and banks will face less competition,” said Deputy Shadow Minister for Finance Michael Cooper. “Businesses across Canada need cash now. The hundreds of credit unions across Canada can get it out the door. It is time for the government to open the door to competition and let credible unions save cash-starved entrepreneurs.”

There are 239 credit unions in Canada but Export Development Canada—which is administering the program— considers only 11 of them “approved lenders”, excluding 95% of credit unions. That means the charter banks will have the privilege of delivering almost all the loans with little competition. Thousands of small businesses that rely on credit unions will not get money unless they switch over to banks.

“Thousands of businesses with millions of workers are days away from bankruptcy. They need cash now. The government has promised them $40,000 loans. Why not use all financial institutions—especially local credit unions—to get the money out the door,” said Shadow Minister for Finance Pierre Poilievre. “Many rural, small business and western companies rely on credit unions instead of banks. Some rural communities do not even have bank branches. The government should open up competition now and let hundreds of credit unions help save millions of jobs.”