December 5th, 2014

NDP calls for ban on predatory ‘gift card for cash’ scheme

QUEEN’S PARK — NDP Government and Consumer Services critic Jagmeet Singh called on the government to act quickly to end an initiative at Money Mart payday loan stores in Hamilton that offers to redeem gift cards at only 50% of the card’s value.

“Forcing individuals who are already under a great deal of stress during the holidays to pay this extraordinarily high rate for an exchange is simply disgusting,” said Singh, MPP for Bramalea-Gore-Malton. “This type of scheme that takes advantage of people that are already so vulnerable, particularly at this time of year, is not acceptable.”


The scheme follows a growing trend by charitable organizations to give out gift cards to clients to help them buy gifts for Christmas and groceries for the holidays.

“Giving gift cards is a more dignified approach to helping vulnerable people so they don’t have to line up at food banks or at Christmas hamper programs,” explained Singh. 

Singh said this ‘gift cards for cash’ scheme just one of the many areas where the Payday Loans Act needs to be tightened up.

“Why does this government allow Grinches like Money Mart to steal Christmas from our most vulnerable people in Ontario?” asked Singh.