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.

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.

Cape Breton ACORN Fights for Fair Hydro Rates

ACORN Canada members in Cape Breton joined the Cape Breton District Labour Council, and allies in Halifax,  last week to rally for affordable electricity. Nova Scotians are facing a 6% increase in the cost of electricity at the same time as Emera hydro company executives are taking home bonuses and raises.

Members will continue to build their campaign to hold accountable private hydro company Emera, and to make electricity affordable.

Cape Breton ACORN’s Healthy Homes campaign will be their other focus this summer. There are new faces at every meeting, and a lot of excitement for more action, and for making tenant issues into election issues in this fall’s municipal election.

Cape Breton Post: Power rate request sparks protest

Edith Lawrence joined the Power to the People protest outside of the provincial building on Prince Street, Thursday. Greg McNeil - Cape Breton PostSYDNEY — People protesting Nova Scotia Power Inc.’s requested rate increases questioned why utility executives are receiving bonuses and raises at a time when many Nova Scotians struggle to pay their power bill.

Thursday’s rally outside the provincial building on Prince Street called for democratic, public ownership of the utility.

“This is an issue that has a lot of us fired up,” said Evan Coole, a member of Cape Breton Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

“It is hard enough to make a pay cheque last week-to-week with rent and regular expenses. Now one of the biggest regular expenses is going up yet again to line the pockets of Emera and Nova Scotia Power CEOs.”

The Cape Breton Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now worked with the Cape Breton District Labour Council to organize the Sydney rally, which coincided with rallies on the South Shore and in Halifax.

Chronicle Herald: Groups gather to protest power rate hikes, executive salaries

SYDNEY – Protesters in Sydney say high executive salaries, record high profits and steadily increasing power rates translate into Nova Scotia Power bleeding the people of the province.

As part of a province-wide protest against what's being called Emera and Nova Scotia Power's "natural" monopoly, protesters are calling for the Nova Scotia government to take back what "rightfully" belongs to the people.

Other groups held protests in Bridgewater and in Halifax today. The business has come under fire in recent weeks after disclosing million-dollar salaries for its top executives.

It was a small but vocal crowd that gathered in front of the provincial building in Sydney at noontime.

"Emera is investing outside the province and not investing enough in clean power generation here," said Suzanne MacNeil, president of the Cape Breton and District Labour Council.

The council and ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) organized the event in this part of the province, seeking to raise awareness about what they claim is the power corporation's grip on Nova Scotians.

Movement for Remittance Justice

Kay Bisnath, MPP Jagmeet Singh and Rohan Jagroo announce the introduction of Bill 98.Last Thursday, ACORN members joined MPP Jagmeet Singh at Queen’s Park to announce the next step in our important campaign to regulate the predatory remittance industry. He tabled a historic bill that afternoon that would regulate the industry – introducing transparent fee structures for the first time, a cap on the total fees at 5% of money sent, and strong enforcement mechanisms.

A lot of people paid attention. You can read some of what they wrote here, here and here.

The Toronto Star, the most read newspaper in the country, endorsed the campaign over the weekend. So did the Ottawa Citizen.

You can sign the petition here.

ACORN members are going to keep working hard to build this campaign. They’ll be speaking to their neighbors and getting them signed on, they’ll be doing turn out for meetings and actions, and they’ll be planning. One of the most important tasks right now for ACORN’s members and supporters across Ontario is letting MPPs know that they should vote for remittance justice. Call your MPP now - you can find their contact information here

To get involved, to let us know weather your MPP supports remittance justice, or to get more information, contact the closest ACORN office.