Ontario Proposing Changes to Payday Loans, Debt Collection

Province Introducing Legislation to Strengthen Consumer Financial Protection

Ontario will introduce legislation to increase protections for consumers who use high-cost alternative financial services, such as payday loans, instalment loans, rent-to-own services and cheque-cashing services, and to better protect those with debts in collection.

If passed, the Alternative Financial Services Statute Law Amendment Act would make amendments to the Payday Loans Act, Consumer Protection Act and the Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act that would increase protections for consumers in several important new ways, for example:

  • Consumers cashing cheques at alternative financial service providers would have more information made available to them and would benefit from a cap on the rate of cheque-cashing services
  • Consumers using rent-to-own services would benefit from a grace period for repayment
  • Consumers using instalment loans would be certain that the costs of optional insurance would not be excessive
  • Consumers who are repeat payday loan borrowers would have the option of a longer repayment period
  • Consumers with overdue debts would benefit from expanded rules against unfair collection practices from businesses that purchase and collect overdue debts.

Protecting Ontario’s consumers is part of the government’s plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people’s talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.

Quick Facts

  • Alternative financial services are any financial service offered by a party other than a bank or a credit union.
  • There are over 800 licensed payday lenders and loan brokers in Ontario.
  • Ontario’s 2015 survey of 500 payday loan borrowers found that 18 per cent took out 10 or more payday loans in the last year and slightly more than half used payday loans to cover recurring expenses.
  • Approximately 1,000 Ontarians were consulted in the development of this legislation.

Background Information

Additional Resources

Quotes

“Our government is committed to protecting consumers, and that includes protecting Ontarians from a cycle of personal debt. Strengthening consumer financial protection ensures our province’s financial marketplace is fair, safe, and keeps consumers well informed.”

David Orazietti

Minister of Government and Consumer Services

Ontario Election_June 12th_All Candidates Events Listing

Poverty Reduction is a key election issue. Our Ontario government is legislated to develop a poverty reduction strategy every 5 years regardless of which party is in power.

So it is important that candidates can speak and act on poverty issues.  Please find below a list of dates and locations for many of our local All-Candidate events. 

Please  find attached 2 flyers with information and questions to ask your candidates regarding Income Security and Affordable Housing.  Please feel free to use these flyers, photocopy them and circulate them.

Poverty Task Force_Election flyer_Housing questions

Poverty Task Force_Election flyer_Wage questions

The Bruce Grey Poverty Task Force shall be attending the below meetings and we encourage all members to ask questions!

Tuesday, May 27th, 7 pm, Keady Community Centre, Keady ON  The Bruce & Grey Federations of Agriculture, is having an All-Candidates event with a focus on Agricultural issues.

Thursday, May 29th, 7pm, On Roger Cable Network. Rogers Cable is holding a live All-Candidates event on TV for Bruce Grey Owen Sound riding.

They will take questions by phone from watchers, which will be moderated by Roger’s staff. Anyone watching can use our questions or their own and phone them in.

Tuesday, June 3rd, 6pm, Bayshore Community Centre, 900 3 Ave E, Owen Sound The Owen Sound Chamber of Commerce is holding an All-Candidates event with a focus on business issues.

The Chamber of Commerce shall be posing questions to the candidates prior to the event. The responses to the questions shall be published in the Make It Your Business newspaper on June 3rd.  The public shall be selected through a lottery to ask questions at this event.

Friday, June 6th, 7pm, St. George’s Anglican Church, Owen Sound The Women’s Centre, Grey and Bruce, is having an All-Candidates event with a focus on Social Justice issues.

The Community Action Committee of the Women’s Centre Board is organizing this event.  We are still confirming the process for asking questions at this event.

Poverty reduction key to fairer, more prosperous Ontario

By: Sarah Blackstock Greg deGroot-Maggetti, Published on Wed Dec 04 20

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Five years ago this week, the Ontario government embarked on a bold and historic challenge to reduce child and family poverty across our province by 25 per cent by 2013. While it appears Ontario will fall short of its “25 in 5” target, the province has made some progress and laid three critical building blocks that should provide the foundation for its next five-year strategy, expected in early 2014.

The first building block was forged in understanding the connection between fairness and economic prosperity. Ontario should take a page from the response to the most recent economic downturn, where a rising consensus emerged – including World Bank economists and finance ministers of all political stripes – that fighting poverty is required to grow our economy.

Ontario’s 2008 maxim that “we need all hands on deck” to drive our province’s recovery rings as true today as it did then. In an increasingly competitive global economy, it is crucial that we maximize the potential of every Ontarian to both participate in and benefit from economic activity. In a time of fiscal challenges, governments must invest in pathways to opportunity or be saddled with rising costs in health care and social services borne of persistent poverty.

Ontario’s second building block against poverty comes from knowing that good intentions alone cannot sustain a long-term commitment to poverty. Clear goals backed up with a comprehensive strategy must be part of the roadmap to progress.

The government’s willingness to set a clear “25 in 5” target in 2008 came with political risk and took courage. While Ontario’s performance was far from perfect, it has led to tangible gains. Ontario’s child poverty rate of 13.8 per cent in 2011, the latest year for which Statistics Canada figures are available, was down from 15.2 per cent in 2008. This means 41,000 fewer children were living in poverty, a reduction of just over 9 per cent in three, economically challenging years.

Different choices would have undoubtedly led to better outcomes, especially for households without children. But substantial early investments in policies like the new Ontario Child Benefit, refundable tax credits for low income people, and minimum wage hikes show that smart social policy works. Or at least as much as you are willing to invest in it.

The next plan must raise the bar. It should seek to cut poverty among all Ontarians in half by 2018, achieving a reduction in the overall poverty rate in Ontario to below 6 per cent and the child poverty rate to below 7.5 per cent.

The third building block for Ontario’s next poverty reduction strategy is building momentum by starting strong.

Five years ago, Ontario did not flinch in the face of a recession. The government immediately accelerated investments in the Ontario Child Benefit. It increased minimum wages when workers needed them most. It moved quickly to entrench poverty reduction into legislation. It invested in community services in priority neighbourhoods. And it revised legislation on worker protections and predatory lending practices within the first year of the plan.

These down payments were critical in achieving initial gains against poverty. They also put real money in the hands of real people to spend in their communities, providing stimulus to a battered economy.

But Ontario has not always carried through with as much vigour as the challenge of poverty requires. Case in point was the 2012 decision to eliminate the Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB), a modest fund intended to provide a life-line to Ontarians at risk of homelessness.

As the next five-year blueprint is set to be unveiled early in 2014, it is time for Ontario to raise the bar on poverty reduction, starting with a substantial down payment as a building block for success.

Such a down payment should increase social assistance, the Ontario Child Benefit and the minimum wage, to build on gains from the initial strategy.

Addressing the need for affordable housing is key. As municipalities struggle with the repercussions of the CSUMB cut, Ontario should shore up its commitment to the most vulnerable by making transitional housing and homelessness funding permanent. And the government should also match federal housing funding commitments.

Action to resolve the growing precariousness of jobs is another urgent step to take to achieve fairness while helping to drive the economy.

But so much more needs to be done. The 2008 Poverty Reduction Strategy opened the door for substantive action. It’s now time to act boldly toward eradicating poverty in our province by investing in a prosperity agenda that benefits us all.

Sarah Blackstock of YWCA-Toronto and Greg deGroot-Maggetti of Mennonite Central Committee Ontario represent the 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction.

Video: Tamarack Institute discuss reducing poverty using a Collective Impact approach

Video: Paul Born, President and Liz Weaver, Vice President of the Tamarack Institute discuss reducing poverty using a Collective Impact approach. http://bit.ly/170Hiwk
For more information on this approach, Vibrant Communities and/or the Tamarack Institute go to: http://tamarackcommunity.ca/