Clark government brags British Columbians are forced to take payday loans

VICTORIA – Christy Clark’s affordability crisis is forcing more and more people to turn to expensive payday loans, says New Democrat MLA Rob Fleming.

“It’s alarming that Christy Clark’s minister responsible for payday loans bragged Thursday about how great these high-interest loans are in B.C.,” said Fleming. “The Clark government instead should be embarrassed and concerned about how British Columbians are forced to depend on them more than any other province.

“In Christy Clark’s economy, British Columbians have seen the second-worst wage growth in the country, and her government is making affordability even worse with repeated increases to MSP, hydro rates, ICBC insurance and more.”

Research from VanCity credit union shows that British Columbians are turning to payday loans more than in any other province, with a 58 per-cent increase in the number of borrowers between 2012 and 2014, and with most borrowers saying that they need emergency cash just to pay for necessities.

Fleming first introduced payday loan legislation in 2007, which provided more protection to borrowers than the current watered-down rules under the Clark government.

Fleming also criticized Clark for giving borrowers only one day to cancel a loan, instead of two days as proposed in his legislation and now allowed in Alberta. Fleming said he also wants to see increased enforcement of illegal practices, especially online.

“John Horgan and the New Democrats side with British Columbians who are tired of being in debt,” said Fleming. “Yet Christy Clark is siding with the payday loan companies.”