REGENT PARK TV (AUDIO): Curbing Interest Rates on Pay Day Loan Companies
By Dimitrije Martiniovic
Dimitrije is a staff journalist with FOCUS Media Arts Centre.
In this episode reporter Dimitrije Martiniovic interviews NDP MPP Suze Morrison, the recent Private Members Bill C-274 (Mar 11, 2021) tabled by National Democratic Party (NDP) finance critic MP Peter Julian, is calling on the Federal Government to close loopholes allowing Pay Day companies to charge criminally high interest rates. In Regent Park where we have one of the most diverse neighbourhoods in Toronto, and where many people have been struggling during the pandemic, this kind of change could be a welcome sign of relieve to struggling people in the area. Regent Park TV News invited NDP MPP Suze Morrison the Provincial representative for Toronto Centre to delve into the matter, and to explain what the bill entails.
The NPD’s bill seeks to cap interest at 30%, and to enable alternate forms of borrowing such as non-profit and lending circles, both of which would go a long way in providing Canadians with access to short-term loans without the crippling interest rates.
* a payday loan costs $17 per $100 that you borrow, which is the same as an annual interest rate of 442%.
As way of comparison:
* a line of credit includes a $5 administration fee plus 8% annual interest on the amount you borrow
* overdraft protection on a bank account includes a $5 fee plus 21% annual interest on the amount you borrow
* a cash advance on a credit card includes a $5 fee plus 23% annual interest on the amount you borrow
A quick glance will tell you that there are at least 10 Payday Loan Companies within an easy walking distance from Regent Park, an indication of their wide use among low-income people in the area.
Focus Media Arts (formerly Regent Park Focus) is a not-for-profit organization that was established in 1990 to counter negative stereotypes about the Regent Park community and provide interventions to high risk youth living in the area.
We are motivated by the belief that participatory media practices can play a vital role in addressing local needs and development priorities, as well as support the work of building and sustaining healthy communities.
Today FOCUS Media Arts Centre serves as a community learning centre for new media, digital arts, and radio & television broadcasting. We provide a community facility dedicated to the training and mentorship of young people and the engagement of community members of all ages.
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