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FINA Committee Meeting

Notices of Meeting include information about the subject matter to be examined by the committee and date, time and place of the meeting, as well as a list of any witnesses scheduled to appear. The Evidence is the edited and revised transcript of what is said before a committee. The Minutes of Proceedings are the official record of the business conducted by the committee at a sitting.

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Minutes of Proceedings

44th Parliament, 1st Session
Meeting 129
Tuesday, February 27, 2024, 11:02 a.m. to 1:05 p.m.
Peter Fonseca, Chair (Liberal)

Library of Parliament
• Brett Capwell, Analyst
• Joëlle Malo, Analyst
ACORN Canada
• Donna Borden, National Representative
• Bhumika Jhamb, Research and Communications Coordinator
Prosper Canada
• Elizabeth Mulholland, Chief Executive Officer
Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2) and the motion adopted by the committee on Tuesday, January 30, 2024, the committee commenced its study of non-prime Lending and the Criminal Interest Rate.

Bhumika Jhamb made a statement.

At 11:19 a.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 11:24 a.m., the sitting resumed.

Donna Border and Elizabeth Mulholland made statements and, with Bhumika Jhamb, answered questions.

Daniel Blaikie gave notice of the following motion:

Given that the Canadian grocery sector made more than $6 billion in profit in 2023 and that millions of Canadians have reported food insecurity in the last year, the Standing Committee on Finance call on the government to immediately take action by implementing an excess profit tax on large grocery companies that would put money back in the people's pocket with a GST rebate and establish a National School Food Program, and that this motion be reported to the House.

Questioning of the witnesses resumed.


Yvan Baker moved, — Given high-cost installment loans are the second fastest-growing type of debt in Canada; and that these products are disproportionately accessed by low-income Canadians;

Given that high-cost loans tend to aggravate, not alleviate existing financial challenges, where Canadians resorting to these loans have ended up in vicious cycles of debt as they struggle to cover the increased cost of bills;

Given the Canadian Lenders Association’ extensive lobbying since the release of regulations in December 2023 to be excluded from the scope of regulations, while refusing to publicly appear at committee to discuss their position;

That the committee express its disappointment in the Canadian Lenders Association last-minute refusal to appear as part of the committee’s current study;

That, in the context of its study on predatory lending, and pursuant to Standing Order 108(1)(a), the committee send for any documents from the Canadian Lenders Association and its member organizations related to the following:

i. The total revenues and profits of CLA’s membership, specifically of all publicly traded companies such as Goeasy Ltd;

ii. Goeasy Ltd. and Easy Financial’s total revenues in the province of Quebec in 2022 and 2023; given the rapid increase in high-cost lending services in the province, despite the maximum APR of 35%;

iii. The total number and value of high-cost agreements granted in 2022 and 2023, broken down by province and territory;

iv. The dollar value of the CLA’s advertising campaign regarding changes to the criminal rate of interest, and how much of that cost is borne by borrowers’ repayments;

v. All executive compensation and bonuses, including for the CLA’s entire executive and board;

That the committee receive the information no later than Monday, March 18th, 2024;

And that the committee not hold any further meetings on the Non-prime Lending and the Criminal Interest Rate study.

Debate arose thereon.


Philip Lawrence moved, — That the motion be amended by adding before the first paragraph the following: “Given that, after eight years of this NDP-Liberal government, Canadians are facing the worst economy since the Great Depression;”.


The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible as it adds to the preamble and not to the substance of the motion.


Philip Lawrence moved, — That the motion be amended by adding after the words “accessed by low income Canadians;” the following: “and given that there are additional low income Canadians because Canada's per capita growth has been less than 5% over the last ten years;”.


The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible as it adds to the preamble and not to the substance of the motion.

The question was put on the motion and it was agreed to on the following recorded division:

YEAS: Yvan Baker, Daniel Blaikie, Adam Chambers, Julie Dzerowicz, Iqwinder Gaheer, Jasraj Singh Hallan, Philip Lawrence, Joël Lightbound, Marty Morantz, Gabriel Ste-Marie, Joanne Thompson — 11;

NAYS: — 0.

Questioning of the witnesses resumed.

At 1:05 p.m., the committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.

Alexandre Vassiliev
Committee clerk