Letter to Finance Ministers regarding payday loans

Council recently passed the zoning changes to protect communities from Pay day Loans.  My council direction of pushing the Federal Government to do more has been sent to Minister responsible.

October 7, 2019

The Honourable William Francis Morneau

Minister of Finance

Department of Finance Canada

90 Elgin Street

Ottawa, Ontario  K1A 0G5


The Honourable Rod Phillips

Minister of Finance

Frost Building South

7 Queen’s Park Crescent, 7th floor

Toronto, Ontario  M7A 1Y7


Dear Minister Morneau and Minister Phillips,


Re:      Payday Loan Establishments

I am writing to you on behalf of the City of Ottawa with respect to matters arising from the City’s recent review of Payday Loan Establishments.

On September 25, 2019, Ottawa City Council approved joint zoning and business licensing regulations for payday loan businesses in order to address the proliferation and clustering of these establishments within the City and to enhance consumer protections for payday loan clients, many of whom face financial constraints and are among Ottawa’s most vulnerable residents.

As part of Council’s consideration of these regulations, the Community and Protective Services Committee directed that I write to you to ask that your respective ministries consider:

  1. Implementing innovations and mechanisms in the federally-regulated banking system to allow and encourage affordable, short-term lending by banks in order to provide alternative sources of financing to those who use payday loan services.
  2. Regulating the fees charged by payday loan establishments to the public for cheque-cashing services, in cases where those fees are currently unregulated (e.g. for non-governmental cheques) and to encourage employers to establish direct deposit systems, where possible.

Thank you in advance for your attention to these important issues.



Jim Watson


City of Ottawa

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