Author: Anna Cameron

Three things worth celebrating in the 2018 Alberta Budget

The Government of Alberta announced its 2018 Budget yesterday. From our perspective, here are three things worth celebrating: Provincial funding for preventative social services was protected In 2016, the Government of Alberta boosted funding for preventative social services in communities across the province by $25 million. This was the first significant increase to the Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) budget since 2009, and a… Read more

Alberta’s high-cost credit rules are changing for the better

Recently, the Government of Alberta introduced legislation that will change the rules for high-cost lenders operating in our province. You can read the press release here. If you’ve followed any of Momentum’s work on this issue, you’ll know that high-cost credit has been at the top of our list of public policy priorities for the past several years. This is because many high-cost credit services—like… Read more

High-Cost Credit: Ideas for Change

Drive down one of Calgary’s main thoroughfares—such as International Avenue or Macleod Trail—and you’ll likely observe, among the many storefronts and restaurants, a handful of businesses advertising high-cost credit products. Most Canadians are familiar with one type of high-cost credit—payday lending—and understand that such loans can easily trap a vulnerable borrower in a cycle of debt. Other forms of high-cost credit, however, are less well-known… Read more

Beyond Payday Lending

For the past several years Momentum has partnered with residents, community agencies, financial institutions, and government to bring about payday lending reform. The result of this collaboration is exciting: in 2016, both the City of Calgary and the Government of Alberta introduced significant changes to the rules that apply to payday lenders. You can read about these changes here. Credit unions are also taking the… Read more

Payday Lending Changes in 2016

2016 was a momentous year for payday lending reform, both in our province and our city! Here’s a recap: CALGARY June 2016 – Calgary City Council votes by a margin of 13-1 to include payday lenders under the Business License Bylaw •Payday lenders must now obtain business licenses and pay an annual licensing fee of $184. •In addition, payday lenders must display large signs in-store… Read more

How Alberta’s social assistance programs may be contributing to the perpetuation of poverty

Income Support, Alberta’s social assistance program, provides vital financial assistance and additional support to individuals and families who cannot currently meet their basic needs. Thousands of Albertan households receive Income Support each month, with over 48,000 accessing assistance in May of this year. Unfortunately, many of the eligibility rules that govern access to social assistance in Alberta are restrictive, and may actually be contributing to… Read more

Provincial government proposes changes to Alberta’s payday lending laws

Over the past two years, Momentum has partnered with individuals and groups to advocate for payday lending reform in our province. These efforts paid off yesterday, when Service Alberta Minister Stephanie McLean introduced Bill 15: An Act to End Predatory Lending in the Alberta legislature. This act aims to reduce the cost of borrowing in Alberta to $15 per $100 borrowed – the lowest rate… Read more

One more reason to open an RESP or RDSP

The Government of Alberta has taken an important step to ensure that individuals applying for affordable housing are no longer penalized for contributing to registered savings plans. Minister of Seniors and Housing Lori Sigurdson has announced the exemption of Registered Disability Savings Plans (RDSPs) and Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) from the $7,000 asset limit that determines eligibility for affordable housing programs. This change is… Read more

Three things to look for in Tuesday's federal budget

New shoes buffed and shined, Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau is set to unveil the federal government’s 2016 budget. Much attention will surely be paid to the size of the deficit, but what else can Canadians expect to see included on Tuesday? 1. Canada Child Benefit: A key election promise, the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) would replace existing child benefit programs and provide the typical… Read more