OTTAWA – (8 December 2021) – Today the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) joins ACORN Canada, Momentum and over 30 groups representing anti-poverty, low-income, disability, immigrant and refugee, labour, tenant, progressive policy and related groups to advocate for reform of Canada’s regulation of high cost lending and to create safe and fair credit alternatives for lower-income Canadians.

The campaign and coalition formed around chronic issues of abusive lending and poor access to fair and safe credit but was catalyzed by the Government of Canada’s Budget 2021, which promised federal government review of the criminal rate of interest, payday lending and installment lending in Canada.

The campaign has four major recommendations for advancing credit justice for lower-income Canadians:

  1. Lower the maximum interest rate to an Effective Annual Rate (EAR) of 36%. Ensure that the maximum rate includes all lending costs.
  2. Clarify and better enable enforcement. Remove the requirement of an actuarial certificate and approval of the attorney general to prosecute.
  3. Repeal section 347.1 which provides an exemption for payday lending.
  4. Ensure access to safe and affordable credit for all Canadians.

The campaign not only seeks to eliminate extreme credit costs to those Canada who can least afford to pay high interest rates, but also to create a new credit facility for lower-income Canadians and to provide a government-backed bridge to consumers who may have become dependent on harmful forms of credit such as payday loans and installment loans.

A full description of our recommendations is found in the attached document: “Revising the Criminal Rate of Interest in Canada” (December 2021).

For more information, or to add your group to the coalition, please contact:

John Lawford (he/him)
Executive Director/General Counsel
Public Interest Advocacy Centre
285 McLeod Street - Suite 200
Ottawa, ON  K2P 1A1
jlawford@piac.ca
613-562-4002 ext 125 [new!]
Fax 562-0007
Cell: 613-447-8125
Fighting for consumer rights
@CanadaPIAC

Judy Duncan, ACORN Canada, canadaacorn@acorncanada.org 416-996-6401

Courtney Mo, Momentum, courtneym@momentum.org 403-204-6180

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