Is regulation required for credit card companies?
In 1968, Canadians first got their hands on credit cards, making it faster and easier to spend money they didn't necessarily have. Aside from their plastic, many Canadians also deal with the varying burdens of student loans, mortgages and all the other factors that contribute to personal debt. The CBC Digital Archives looks back on the times and troubles of personal debt in Canada, exploring how we get into debt and how we might avoid it.
• In Canada, the responsibility for consumer protection is shared by the provincial and federal governments between several acts of legislation. The act that regulates interest rates and credit is the 1991 federal Bank Act, although Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan all have provincial consumer protection acts as well.
• Charles Dickens once defined credit as "a system whereby a person who can not pay gets another person who can not pay to guarantee that he can pay." Dickens had an understandably dark view of credit and debt; his father was sent to debtor's prison when Charles was 12 years old and the young Dickens was forced to work in a shoe factory. His introduction to the world of child labour and the working poor influenced his later writing, most famously in Oliver Twist.
• Canadian naturalist Ernest Thompson Seton was once saddled with a debt almost all people run up but are rarely asked to pay back. He claimed that at age 21, his father presented him with a bill for all the costs incurred in raising him, including the fee of the doctor who delivered him. Furthermore, Seton claimed to have paid it, although some, including his brother, said the story was an exaggeration.
Broadcast Date: June 8, 1970
Guest(s): Jacob Ziegel
Host: Bruno Gerussi
Photo: by jessica @ flickr, used under Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic license.
Last updated: November 7, 2013
Page consulted on December 6, 2013
All Clips from this Topic
An unsolicited invitation to join the credit card-carrying elite turns...
Concern explores the credit system; the lenders, borrowers and middlem...
Easy credit spells disaster for many Canadians. Is it time for the gov...
Sunday Morning explores the vicious side of money lending tha...
in 1978, consumer debt tops $30 billion and record numbers of Canadian...
Home buyers are taking a chance with the unwieldy interest rates in 19...
Students find a number of ways to resolve their loans, and it doesn't ...
A 1995 profile of one Canadian family and its life in the red.
Canadian university students are finding there's no such thing as a de...
As a worldwide economic crisis grows in 2008, CBC-TV explores why Cana...
In 1968, Canadians first got their hands on credit cards, making it fa...