Liberals oppose motion to protect Ontarians, side with predatory payday loan industry

QUEEN'S PARK— Today, the Liberal government refused to support an NDP motion, introduced by NDP Government and Consumer Services critic Jagmeet Singh, that would immediately prevent predatory practices by payday loan companies.

The motion calls for banning gift card exchanges at exorbitant rates and reducing the fee charged on a payday loan to a rate lower than the current $21 per $100 borrowed.

'Often doing the right thing can be very simple,' said Singh, MPP for Bramalea-Gore-Malton. 'Banning practices such as redeeming gift cards for cash at 50% of the card’s value is only one of the many areas in the Payday Loans Act that needs to be changed, and can be changed, if the government has the will to do so.'

Minister of Government and Consumer Services David Orazietti indicated his government would not support the modest, reasonable Payday Loans Actreforms proposed in the NDP motion.

Bizarrely, Orazietti also claimed full credit for the decision by Money Mart to suspend the predatory 'cash for gift cards' program though the government's legislation played no role in the company's decision. The minister maintains it was his government’s “displeasure” with the program, and not the massive public outcry sparked by Singh's complaint in the legislature, that resulted in the company’s reversal.

 'I would have thought that forcing vulnerable individuals to pay this extraordinarily high rate for an exchange would be something that everyone in this house would object to. But apparently not this government,' said Singh.