Toronto City Council has shot down proposals from the Etobicoke York Community Council that would have pressured payday loan operations.
Last month the Etobicoke York Community Council started pursuing the payday loan shops sprouting up around Weston. There are now at least 10 within walking distance. These shops cash cheques and give extremely high-interest short-term loans. The Etobicoke council voted to inspect the payday loan businesses in Weston—even though what it was hoping to find was never very clear. It gave vague instructions to look for “problems” and “issues”.
The much smaller community council wanted the full Toronto City Council and its staff to “determine what regulations are necessary to eliminate the problems”, “address the issues arising from this type of business” and to see if the city can license the payday loan offices. However, the Toronto council ruled Etobicoke’s recommendations out of order, and they were withdrawn.
It now seems that the community council will only have the director of municipal licensing and standards inspect the shops; it is not clear what, if anything, she or he will be able to do.