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ACORN Canada's comments on risks and consumer protection policy recommendations
Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2015-134
Review of basic telecommunications services
14 July 2015
ACORN Canada engaged me to determine an appropriate fee structure for payday lenders that would reduce the current very high rates while still allowing at least some of the companies to continue to operate. This fee structure should replace the current rule of 60% maximum interest contained in the Criminal Code, thus allowing mainstream financial institutions to compete in the short-term lending field legally.
The payday lending industry is unique in Canada. In most of the country, this billion- dollar business is completely unregulated. And it makes money by openly breaking the law against criminal interest rates. While the Criminal Code clearly states that annual effective interest rates must not exceed 60%, payday lenders typically charge between 300% - 900% and, not infrequently, more than 1,000%. And yet, in spite of this flagrant violation of the law and the harm done to those who regularly borrow from Money Mart and its less well-known competitors,
virtually nothing is being done to crack down on this rapidly growing industry. It’s estimated that there are more than 1,200 payday lending “stores” across Canada. Some have more reprehensible lending and collection practices than others. But all of them share the same core business practice of breaking the law every single day.
The practice of offering short-term payday loans against an individual’s paycheque (and/or other regular source of income such as pension cheques) has grown dramatically in the past few years and the industry is now estimated to be worth $2 billion a year in Canada in terms of loan volume. By comparison, a recent report about the industry in the United States, where payday lending originated, stated that the industry is worth US$44 billion annually in that country. ACORN and other organizations have raised concerns about the phenomenon of payday lending, citing extremely high rates of interest and lack of consumer awareness about the dangers of extended use of payday loans. The industry remains unregulated, and ACORN has called for legislative action to be taken.
Fair banking NOW!
Surrey tenants cannot keep up with rising rents: the city is in the midst of an affordability crisis. Rents have been rising dramatically compared with household incomes and market rents are increasingly unaffordable to low income households.
Top three priorities: 1. Lack of affordable housing 2. Rent control loopholes 3. Renovictions and demovictions
ACORN’s housing campaign calls for the Federal Government to enact legislation that clearly establishes the right to secure, adequate and affordable housing.
In 2011 statistics, there were 390,280 private households across the province of Nova Scotia. 29% is listed as renter households. Almost a third of the population lives in a rental unit. There have been some bylaw changes made across the province in recent years aiming to improve rental housing conditions. However, as this report will show, there is still a lot to be done on both the provincial and municipal level.
This report shows that the more needs be done to support tenants and hold landlords to account, as renters are living in substandard conditions without the necessary support to stand up to landlords on issues such as rental unit repairs.
In Halifax, 2011 statistics showed that 37% of households in Halifax were rented (STATCAN: http://bit.ly/2jQTYRp), a number which is continuing to grow in an increasing rental market. There have been some bylaw changes made by City Council in recent years aiming to improve rental housing conditions. However, as this report shows, there is much still to be done.
Les membres d’Ottawa ACORN croient que le gouvernement municipal a la responsabilité de gérer les cas horribles de logements insalubres à Ottawa et les régions environnantes.
Ottawa ACORN members believe that the municipal government has a responsibility to address the causes of the horrific state of housing in Ottawa and the surrounding region.