Payday Lending & Remittances

Learn more about ACORN Canada's groundbreaking campaigns regulate payday lending and international remittances and money transfers.

New Endorsements for Ontario Remittance Justice Campaign

ACORN members rallying for Remittance JusticeSupport for Remittance Justice is building every day across Ontario.

Every year Ontarians send hundreds of millions of dollars to loved ones overseas. The companies that process those payments often take 10-20% off the top. ACORN members have been working for two years to lower the fees so that money gets to the people who need it.


New people are joining ACORN as members, and as allies, to do what they can to get Bill 98 passed.

Introduced in May by MPP Jagmeet Singh and leading members of ACORN, Bill 98 would put a cap on the fees charged by Money Transfer Organizations (e.g. Western Union, MoneyGram); it would also make the industry transparent so customers know exactly how much they're paying to send money to family overseas. 


ASCORCAN LogoOn September 1st, Ottawa ACORN will be at ASCORCAN's annual Pupusa Festival at Brewer Park. 

ACORN members will be spreading the word about their campaign for Remittance Justice. 

Millions of Canadians send money to family members overseas and are often charged as much as 20% of money sent in various fees. 

Right now it's critical that people across Ontario contact their MPP and ask for support for Bill 98 - a piece of legislation that would cap remittance fees and regulate the remittance industry. 

Contact Ottawa ACORN's office if you can help get the word out that day, or if you'd like to join in the celebration! 

Remittance Campaign Update

After months of work by Ontario ACORN members, Bill 98, Consumer Protection Amendment Act (Money Transfers) was tabled by MPP Jagmeet Singh on May 31.  ACORN Canada members across the province are working now to let their neighbors know, and to make sure that MPPs from all parties know that Ontario needs remittance justice now.

On June 29th ACORN members met with the Ministry of Consumers Affairs policy staff; stay tuned to find out where the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Margaret Best, stands on the issue.

Seize the Opportunity to Regulate Remittances

The response to our campaign for remittance justice - calling for a cap on overseas remittances rates to 5% - has been inspiring.

We’ve been endorsed by the Toronto Star, Ottawa Citizen and a number of other papers and had an overwhelming response from our members & supporters.

Our opponents - the banks and transfer companies like Western Union - are gearing up to oppose regulation and fight to protect their profits.

We don’t have the deep pockets and lobbyists of the banks and transfer companies, but we do have people power that they can never match.

We’ve already started holding local grassroots actions and we’re getting results -but we urgently need supporters like you to chip in and support more grassroots actions to keep the pressure on. Donate Now >> 

Not convinced?  This is what the Toronto Star Editorial Board had to say about a private members bill to regulate remittances:

Pressure is Building for Remittance Justice

Across Ontario support is building for Bill 98 - a piece of legislation that ACORN members and ally MPP Jagmeet Singh (Bramlea Gore Malton) have brought forward to cap the fees on remittance fees and bring transparency to the industry.

Jagmeet Singh asked Margaret Best, the Minister of Consumer Affairs in Dalton McGuinty's cabinet, if remittance users can count on support from her government. Watch here: 

Share News has added their voice to the debate, urging all parties to support this badly needed legislation:

A good number of the people using remittance services are low-wage earners supporting families back home, so high fees are a hardship both for those sending money from here and for those receiving less there.

Jamaica Gleaner: Bill To Cap Remittance Charges Gains Support

New Westminister ACORN members rally for remittance justice.A recent private member’s bill introduced in the Ontario Legislature to put a stop to what critics call corporate “gouging” on migrant workers and immigrants, who count on remittance services to wire money to their loved ones overseas, is gaining ground among Caribbean nationals in Toronto.

The bill, drafted by Jagmeet Singh, the New Democrat MPP for Bramalea-Gore-Malton, would cap the rates in Ontario to no more than 5 per cent of the money transferred.

The proposal would also require financial institutions such as MoneyGram and Western Union to disclose any hidden fees in transactions. Singh said that this is an important issue for a large number of people in Ontario who are not being charged a fair rate.

He said it makes it difficult for them to send money to their loved ones. Support the bill Acton McKenley sends money to family in Jamaica three times per month and said it cost him $10 per transaction.

Brampton Local: NDP MPP Jagmeet Singh to introduce Foreign Money Transfer bill

brampton local jagmeet singh june 20 2012Bramlea- Gore Malton NDP MPP Jagmeet Singh, with the support of Ontario ACORN, will introduce a Private Member Bill to regulate Foreign Money Transfer fees today.

The Province of Ontario has jurisdiction over money transfer organizations like Western Union and MoneyGram.

ACORN members are happy to announce that the bill includes a 5% cap on fees and will include disclosure and enforcement. Even the World Bank and the G8 are prompting a plan called “5×5″; their goal is to reduce the price of transferring money via remittances down to 5% and to do so in 5 years (by the target date of 2014).

“For too long, immigrants and migrant workers have experienced financial injustice because of the fees charged by Money Transfer Organizations. We are very encouraged to see a ray of hope in the legislation to be introduced by Jagmeet Singh that could lower the fees in Ontario for sending money overseas,” says Kay Bisnath, President of ACORN Canada.

Share News Editorial: Gov’t should support money transfer bill

If you send $100 to Guyana, Jamaica or Trinidad using a remittance service, on average 10 per cent will go in fees to the money transfer company you use. Once the money reaches your loved ones, the daily exchange rate as decided on by a remittance service again lowers the amount the person you send it to actually receives.

A good number of the people using remittance services are low-wage earners supporting families back home, so high fees are a hardship both for those sending money from here and for those receiving less there.

The people who encounter these charges when using these remittance services see this as gouging. For this reason, New Democrat MPP Jagmeet Singh (Bramalea-Gore-Malton) has introduced a private member’s bill in the Ontario legislature to put limits on the fees charged by remittance companies such as Western Union, which has the biggest share of this particular service at 17 per cent, and Moneygram.

iPolitics Insight: Regulating remittance fees makes sense for Ontario

Last week, Ontario NDP MPP Jagmeet Singh (Bramalea-Gore-Malton) introduced a private member’s bill that proposes to regulate the fees that financial institutions levy on remittances, transfers of money from individuals in Ontario to people around the world.  

Among other requirements, the bill calls for a five per cent cap on these fees, which currently can reach much higher levels, depending on the destination of the funds.

Why should all parties support this bill?

Lowering the cost of sending remittances will enhance the wellbeing of Ontario’s multicultural communities, will improve Ontario’s impact on international economic development, and crucially, will make Ontario a more attractive destination for immigrants.