Fair Fees - Frais équitable

 
Fair Banking - Our Fair Banking campaign seeks to make mainstream banking fairer, while also fighting to end predatory lending and encourage the creation of alternation banking products for low and moderate income earners. Learn more about our Fair Banking campaign here
 
Digital Access to Opportunities - Access to the internet has become a necessity, and the high cost of service affects access to opportunities in the job market, in school, and in many other aspects of daily life. ACORN Canada members demand $10/month high speed internet for low income families as part of our Digital Access to Opportunities campaign. Take action on closing the digital divide - sign the petition
 
Regulate Remittances - Remittances (sending money overseas through money transfer organizations like Western Union) and payday loans are big business in Canada, and thousands of Canadians are getting gouged by companies charging exorbitant fees for these services. ACORN Canada members work for the regulation of these fees and fairness in the remittance and payday loan industries.

Radio-Canada: Acorn ouvrira un centre à Gatineau

Gatineau

L'organisme Acorn, dont la mission est de venir en aide aux familles en situation précaire, ouvrira, vendredi, une succursale à Gatineau. Il s'agit d'une première percée de l'organisme au Québec.

Après Ottawa, Toronto et Vancouver, Acorn inaugurera un bureau dans le secteur de Hull. Les responsables souhaitent ainsi aménager un local dans l'un des quartiers les plus défavorisés de la ville.

CBC: Ontario wants to revoke licence of payday cash stores

CBC News has learned that the Ontario government is going to try to revoke the licence of Cash Store Financial Services, one of the biggest cash advance stores in the country.

The Ontario Ministry of Consumer Affairs alleges that the company broke Ontario's Payday Loans Act, which limits the fees payday loan companies can charge.

Cash Store Financial Services has 200 outlets in Ontario alone: branded as InstaLoans and The Cash Store.

They operate in 19 different communities in the province.

Media Advisory: Silence from Ontario Liberal leadership candidates on issues affecting low income communities

(Toronto, ON) – To find out where Ontario’s next premier stands on some of the issues that matter to low and moderate income communities across the province, Ontario ACORN have distributed a survey to all of the candidates for leader of the Ontario Liberal Party. The results are disappointing.

Ontario ACORN’s survey asked candidates, on behalf of more than 20,000 members of ACORN across Ontario, to make clear commitments to deal with high remittance fees, unsafe and unaffordable housing, Ontario’s inadequate minimum wage, and inhumane welfare and disability support systems.

Survey of Remittance Users in Ontario: July – October 2012

remittance campaign graph nov 12 2012Summary 

  • 154 of the 229 survey participants indicated how much they were charged. The participants were also asked how often they sent money abroad.
  • When the fees were calculated as a percentage of the amount sent, the data clearly showed that people who send less money are charged a much higher rate than people who send a larger amount of money. On average people who send $100 or less are charged 13.26% compared to people who send over $500 who are charged on average 1.84%.
  • Of the 186 survey participants who reported how much they sent per transaction:
    • 60 reported they sent $100 or less (32%)
    • 106 reported that they sent $200 or less (57%)
  • Of the 229 survey participants who responded to the question “Is the exchange rate fee included in the fees?”
    • 55 indicated that they did not know (24%)
    • 36 said the exchange rate fee was not included in the original fee (16%)
    • 111 said the fees were all lumped together (48%)
    • 27 did not answer the question (12%)
  • Of the 229 participants, 189 sent remittances at least once a year (83%)
  • Of the 189
    • 22 sent 1 time
    • 20 sent 2 times
    • 28 sent 3-5 times
    • 27 sent 6 times
    • 80 sent 12 times
    • 10 sent 24 times
  • The participants were sending money to 37 different countries.

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. 

Big Returns: Update from BC ACORN Tax Site

Lead volunteer Jane Tseng at BC ACORN's tax site. Since 2007 ACORN members across the country have been helping their neighbors file their tax returns. 

Here's what that has meant for low and moderate income communities in BC's lower mainland: 

  • 10,961 returns filed. 
  • $12,301,800 delivered to people in the form of their returns, credits and benefits. 
  • A quarter of the returns processed were from past years - meaning they likely wouldn't have been submitted without the help of BC ACORN's volunteers and members. 
  • Approximately $790,000 saved by community members who would otherwise have paid to have their returns prepared. 
  • 2/3rds of the people who came to get their taxes done were also engaged in ACORN Canada's campaigns for financial justice

ACORN members are grateful for the support of the many volunteers who make this service possible, and for the generous financial support of Vancity Credit Union

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.

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