On Thursday May 5 ACORN Canada and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers came together to call on the Federal government to bring back postal banking and make sure that fair banking is a reality for low and moderate income Canadians. 5 cities across the country held actions to bring attention to the need for a postal bank as an alternative from the predatory lending industry that includes payday lenders, installment loan operators, and more.
A Fair Banking campaign backgrounder released released by ACORN show's it's expensive to be poor. As mainstream banks leave lower income communities and make access to its products and services next to impossible for lower income communities, millions of Canadians are forced to depend on the predatory financial sector as a result.
Ottawa’s Postal Banking rally had a great turnout of more than 100 people! ACORN members Tina Ford and Michelle Walrond lead the rally an gave speeches, while CUPW, city councillor Catherine McKenney, CUPE, CLC, SAA, and many other allies that turned out for the march!
Nova Scotia ACORN held two separate events – an early morning picket from 7am to 9am outside a Cash Money in Dartmouth, where 20 members of ACORN, CUPW, and labour came out in the freezing cold and rain to show support for postal banking. In the evening, NS ACORN had a symposium where about 40 people were in attendance. Mike Keefe from CUPW moderated. Geoff Bickerton from CUPW talked about postal banking, and Bonnie Barrett spoke for ACORN.
Montreal ACORN and STTP held a great action outside the Insta-Cheque cheque cashing store in the Park X neighbourhood. About 20 ACORN and STTP members were there petitioning and handing out fliers and postcards.
Toronto ACORN had a fun and lively action. CUPW Toronto president Meagan Whitfield and Toronto ACORN leader Donna Borden lead a short but lively occupation of the hallway in the hall way outside the Money Mart office on the 6th floor or an office tower by the QEW is south Etobicoke.
In Vancouver, 22 CUPW and ACORN members enjoyed a beautiful sunny day on Commercial Drive in Vancouver, petitioning and chatting with dozens of passersby about the provincial payday lending campaign and the national postal banking campaign.
The Day of Action coincided with the federal government’s appointment of a four-member independent panel to conduct a formal review of Canada Post and study a wide range of issues. This is in addition to a parliamentary committee that will hear from Canadians about what they want from their national post system. ACORN and CUPW-STTP members are making it loud and clear: We Need a Postal Bank!