Sault Ste. Marie city council considers payday loan regulation

Sault Ste. Marie is the latest Ontario city to look at passing a bylaw regulating payday loan businesses.

Regulations could include posting borrowing rate, providing credit counselling info

Sault Ste. Marie is the latest Ontario city to look at how to regulate payday loan businesses. (Erik White/CBC )

City council in Sault Ste. Marie directed staff Tuesday night to come up with a bylaw regulating payday loan businesses.

City councillor Matthew Shoemaker, who tabled the motion, suggested it could include a range of different measures including requiring stores to prominently advertise the borrowing rate and provide anyone seeking a payday loan information on the free credit counselling services available in Sault Ste. Marie.

"I would prefer if we didn't have to pass this, but the provincial government has imposed on the municipalities the power to regulate these things, even though, frankly, it should be their responsibility," Shoemaker told council Tuesday night.

Shoemaker also said he likes the proposal before Hamilton city council that would set a hard limit on the number of payday lenders allowed in a city.

City councillor Steve Butland hopes that the lending companies in the Sault will step up and bring in their own regulations to protect the "most vulnerable" people in the city.

"If you go once, you're likely to go twice," Butland said. 

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