Licensing of Payday Loan Establishments Update

Dear Ward 24 Neighbours,

I am proud to say during the September 4th, meeting of the General Government and Licensing Committee, my recommendation asking for the city to immediately cease issuing licenses to new pay day loan stores was supported.

In April 2018, Toronto City Council adopted interim regulations for payday lending which limited the number, location, and location change processes of payday loan establishments. This included prohibiting establishments from relocating on or within 500 metres of Woodbine Racetrack.

Since the implementation of these regulations, locations within the the City of Toronto has decreased from 212 to 187 payday loan licenses. Where previously existing license holding establishments have closed, moved to online services or merged with existing services.

My focus on this serious matter has been a reoccurring concern brought to my attention by constituents in recent years. After looking into the details of payday loans and the establishments which offer these services. It is clear payday loan companies charge high fees for short-term loans resulting in a predatory lending-borrowing cycle.

At the October 2nd City Council meeting I am requesting support from my City Council colleagues to immediately cease the issuing of new licenses to pay day loan establishments, I also moved motions for additional regulations and to request both the provincial and federal governments to enact regulations on annual interest rates, loan fees, requiring lines of credit which are universally accessible, and to create a national database of payday loan establishment users.

You can tune into the October 2nd City Council meeting here: https://bit.ly/25L28MX

All my Best,

Paul W. Ainslie