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Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

December 14th, 2021 / 10:05 a.m.
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NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-213, an act to amend the Criminal Code (criminal interest rate).

Mr. Speaker, it is very important to introduce this long overdue legislation to end predatory lending in Canada.

I would like to thank my seconder, the member of Parliament for Nunavut, who has been a strong advocate for marginalized people, as well as organizations like ACORN across the country that have been pushing back against predatory lending practices.

As members are well aware, legalized interest rates of up to 600% currently exist in Canada. This bill would end the loopholes that allow financial institutions and payday loan lenders to charge 500% or 600% and would cut in half the criminal interest rate that is currently permitted in the Criminal Code. I will provide just one of many examples. My constituent, who I will call Lisa, paid $13,000 in interest charges over a number of years. She struggled to put food on the table and keep a roof over her head for a $700 emergency loan and was unable to pay even one dollar of principal over that period.

Other countries have put in place microcredit, lending circles and co-operative credit. Therefore, for the marginalized populations, who make up 40% of this country and who share no part of the wealth, it is vitally important to end these predatory lending practices.

I hope all members of Parliament will support this long overdue and important legislation.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)