Canadian Press in a Wednesday, September 27, 2006 article reported that The Canadian Payday Loan Association renewed its plea Tuesday for the federal government to introduce legislation this fall that would give provinces the authority to regulate the country’s burgeoning payday loan industry.
The CPLA, which represents 850 of the 1,350 stores offering payday loans across Canada, urged Justice Minister Vic Toews to make the bill a top priority now that six of 10 provinces have asked Ottawa for the ability to regulate payday lending.
“There is widespread consensus among stakeholders, the industry association, the provinces and the federal government, that regulation of the industry is necessary and warranted,” said CPLA president Michael Thompson in a release.
“All that is needed to get the ball rolling is federal legislation.”
Toews has said he plans to introduce legislation eventually that would let the provinces set and police interest rates. Currently, the federal Criminal Code limits annual interest rates to 60 per cent, but the limit has rarely been imposed on short-term loans.
Manitoba, British Columbia, Alberta, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and recently Saskatchewan have all signalled plans to regulate this industry once the federal legislative changes are in place.
For its part, the Manitoba government has already introduced a bill to limit interest rates, but can’t act before the federal bill is passed.
The industry, which lends about $2 billion each year, services about two million Canadian annually.