FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 13, 2004
Do Not Legalize Loan Sharks
The Consumers' Association of Canada demands the
federal government act in the best interests of consumers and not allow loan sharking to become legal.
At the urging of Industry Lobbyists, the federal government has written new legislation (Bill 24 now before Parliament) which would remove "payday loans" from criminal code provisions.
"This would lead to a mish-mash of rules produced by Provincial Governments across the country and result in the most vulnerable consumers being preyed upon by Loan Sharks," said Consumers' Association President, Bruce Cran.
"We have seen instances which show that on a $300 loan for two weeks, interest rates and charges exceed 1000% per annum," adds Mel Fruitman, Consumers' Association VP.
If provinces wish to protect consumers, why have they not already taken action under the existing Federal Law?
The criminal code provision exists to protect Canadians, particularly the most vulnerable from being taken advantage of, and should not be changed simply because there are companies who see a business opportunity if the rules are modified to legalize their now illegal activities.
For further information: Bruce Cran, (613) 291-7999; Mel Fruitman, (905) 832-9969