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Updates from Public Policy - Summer Edition!

Hello and happy summer from Momentum's Public Policy team. Here is a quick look at policy changes we are pursuing to create more economic inclusion and grow low incomes.

  • Article
  • Policy and research
  • Momentum news

Tue Jun 25, 2024 by Momentum Staff

Criminal Rate of Interest (CRI) Changes

Momentum has been calling for updates and changes to the CRI, which hasn’t been updated in over 40 years. Thee 2023 Federal Budget pledged to lower the CRI from 47% to 35% annual percentage rate (APR), making borrowing cheaper. We are worried that pawn loans and small business loans will be left out. Momentum disagrees with claims made by lenders that lowering the CRI will limit access to safe loans (read our full response here). Lenders in Quebec and other parts of the USA offer loans at 35% APR or lower, showing that lenders can still make profits and save borrowers money.


Good Jobs

Our team is also focused on Good Jobs. Momentum helps people train for good jobs or to create their own, and we want to understand the challenges they face. We talked with 29 Momentum graduates about their journey to a Sustainable Livelihood. We are also looking into the Gig Economy with our partners at Vibrant Communities Calgary and the Calgary Social Policy Collaborative to advocate for policies that improve the wellbeing of gig workers. 


2024 Federal Budget Wins

In April, the Government of Canada released the 2024 Federal Budget. We were happy to see so many wins for financial empowerment (you can read more here). These wins include:

  • Automatic enrollment in the Canada Learning Bond
  • More changes to the Criminal Rate of Interest to fight illegal interest rates
  • Expanding automatic tax filing for eligible people
  • Supporting Prosper Canada to offer more community-delivered financial help services 
  • Caps on Non-Sufficient Fund Fees
  • Creating more options for free and affordable bank accounts
  • Better banking fairness complaints and resolution through the Ombudsperson for Banking Services
  • Reviewing schools eligible for the Canada Student Financial Assistance Program


Calgary Housing Strategy

In Calgary, a record number of people spoke to City Council about rezoning which was one of 98 recommendations in the Calgary Housing Strategy. Momentum's Director of Community Impact, Courtney Mo, spoke about the importance of rezoning as part of a larger plan to make housing more affordable. In mid-May, City Council voted to pass City-wide rezoning allowing for duplexes, rowhouses, and fourplexes to be built. We are excited to see City Council take this step towards creating a more affordable Calgary.

We will continue addressing issues that affect people living on a lower-income and hope you will continue to share your ideas and experiences with us. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter for the latest news on our public policy work at Momentum! 


Happy Summer!

Momentum's Public Policy Team