This week at council, we implemented changes to how payday loan establishments operate and set up businesses.
I feel these new regulations for licensing and regulating payday loan establishments and the new zoning restrictions for these establishments are a step in the right direction.
I am pleased council is able to make these changes and a big thank you is owed to the community – our hard work has paid off.
The new changes make it impossible for new payday loan stores to open and operate close to one another, in other words, the clustering that we see today will be reduced. No new establishment can operate within 1000 metres from another existing payday loan establishment.
No establishment can operate within 300 metres of a school or casinos and moving forward payday loan stores will only be permitted to develop in a building containing other commercial uses, so visibility is reduced.
Licensing has also changed. Now existing and new payday loan establishments wishing to operate in Ottawa will have to apply to obtain a municipal licence, and the city will monitor and enforce the province’s Payday Loans Act.
The changes are a positive move forward, but the work is not done.
The next steps will be to put pressure on the federal government to push banks and organizations to help bridge the gap for individuals looking for small loans, instant cashing and requesting direct deposit for any businesses paying an employee.
For example, banks could remove holds on cheques, offer individuals stable, short-term lending and enforce lowering rates for cheque cashing from payday loan establishments.
Right now the city can do what is within our power to do, but I will continue to push the province to deliver on this as well.