Financial Literacy and Justice
In Canada, 3 per cent of the population – about one million people – are “unbanked,” meaning they do not have a relationship with a mainstream financial institution, according to a 2016 report by Acorn Canada and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
A further 15 per cent – or roughly five million Canadians – are what the report calls “underbanked,” people with a bank account but no credit, people unable to afford fees or high interest rates linked to products for low-income borrowers or those who live in a neighbourhood that does not have a bank branch.
Donna Borden, spokeswoman for Acorn’s Fair Banking campaign, says these people are often seniors, people on disability benefits, newcomers and people with mental-health issues, as well as those without a permanent address or government identification. For street-involved people who do have a bank account, holding onto the cards necessary to access money can be difficult.
The average share of income spent on shelter was more than 55 per cent, while more than 43 per cent of participants reported they were falling behind in meeting their basic financial obligations.
ACORN members from across the country will come together to listen to exciting guest speakers, including labour leaders, community allies, politicians and more; meet other ACORN members and leaders from across the country; attend workshops on how to build power for change; and learn the skills and tools needed to develop grassroots campaigns.
Despite some positive initiatives, ACORN members are deeply disappointed by the lack of action put forward in the Poverty Reduction Strategy.
We need a national strategy to guarantee equal access to basic banking services for all Canadians at a fair price.
On Thursday March 15, 2018, a delegation of Montreal Sud-Ouest ACORN members delivered a letter to City Councilor Craig Sauvé at his office on Rue Bel-Air. // Jeudi 15 mars 2018, une délégation de membres de Montréal Sud-Ouest ACORN a livré une lettre au conseiller municipal Craig Sauvé dans ses bureaux de la Rue Bel-Air.
ACORN members wish to encourage the Ministry of Finance to take this opportunity, during the 2018 pre-budget consultations, to consider the needs of low and moderate-income Ontarians.