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City debates trying to crack down on payday loan places

City council will debate Wednesday whether to ask the province for the power to license payday loan places. Follow council debates live here.

Follow council debates live here.

City council will debate Wednesday whether to ask the province for the power to license payday loan places.

Matthew Green, who represents Ward 3, will urge fellow councillors to support the idea. Green says he's tired of what he says is a predatory industry that preys on Hamilton's most vulnerable.

Green wants the following:

  • For the mayor to write to the province asking it to strengthen the Payday Loans Act.
  • For the letter to include a request to let municipalities limit the number of payday loan businesses in their cities, and to regulate the locations.
  • For city staff to research the feasibility of establishing a licence for payday loan outlets.
  • For city staff to map out payday loan and check-cashing outlets and report back on possible "alternative accessible financial services."

Tom Cooper, director of the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction, has written council supporting Green's effort.

For every new customer at a payday loan place, Cooper said, 15 are repeat customers. More than half take out loans to cover routine or necessary expenses.

The roundtable is "increasingly concerned with the proliferation of payday lending outlets in Hamilton," Cooper wrote, saying it's time for "local action."

The city council meeting starts at 5 p.m. at Hamilton city hall council chambers. Reporter Samantha Craggs will tweet live at @SamCraggsCBC.

Here's what else is on the agenda:

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