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Panel | Predatory Lending and the Alternatives | Geoff Bickerton, Judy Duncan (ACORN) & Heather Simpson (Alterna)

 

payday loan

 

Talk description: 

ACORN Canada has worked to reign in the predatory lending industry since 2004. As a membership based organzation for low and moderate income people ACORN's strength comes from our community organizing model that focuses on door to door outreach, leadership development and building power  for  change. Local community members in Weston in late 2004 brought up problems with local payday lenders and excessively high interest. As a result, ACORN launched a national campaign  targeting the government to regulate these fringe lenders. ACORN members to this date take pride in winning Anti predatory lending legislation in Ontario and BC and continue to fight for fair banking. Most recently they look for regulations at the federal level that would force the big banks to create low interest  small credit products for low and moderate income people. 

In 2016 Alterna Savings partnered with Causeway Work Centre’s Community Capital Fund, as well as 2 other Ottawa-based Credit Unions to launch a pilot program aimed at providing an alternative to payday lending.  The intervention looked to take into account experiences of other payday alternative programs and products, and also leverage Alterna’s extensive experience in microfinance.  The presentation will provide an overview of the program and its structure, as well as lessons learned to date. 

geoff bickerton       judy duncan       heather simpson

Presenter Bio: 

Geoff Bickerton is the Director of Research with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW).

Judy Duncan founded ACORN Canada over 13 years ago, in August 2004. Under her management, the organization has now grown to over 102,000 members, with four offices across the country.  She has created strategic and fundraising relationships with labour organizations, banks and credit unions, and other organizations. Judy has an MA in Community and Regional Development from UBC.

Heather Simpson has over 15 years of experience in driving and supporting the growth of socially focused organizations both in Canada and Internationally. In her current role as Director, Community Accounts at Alterna Savings she is responsible for Alterna’s business within the non-profit, co-operative and social enterprise sectors.  Heather’s previous professional experience includes; Wellspring Cancer Support Foundation where she specialized in resource development and social enterprise strategies; International Finance Corporation (IFC), where she was involved in establishing financing programs to support environmentally focused SMEs and Indigenous owned businesses in developing countries.  In a voluntary capacity Heather is currently involved with Imagine Canada and United Way Toronto and York Region.  She has previously served as President of Elizabeth Fry Toronto, a member of the Toronto Grant Review Team for The Ontario Trillium Foundation, a member of the Toronto Council for Canadian Red Cross and Board Member with the Canada Africa Partnership on AIDS.  Heather holds a BA in economics and business administration from Kalamazoo College, an MBA with a focus on marketing and strategic planning from the Schulich School of Business at York University, and a Certificate in Fundraising Management from Ryerson University. 

Event Details:

When: Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Time: 12:00 Noon - 1:30 pm
Where: OISE/UT --- Room 3-104 --- For directions, please look under Contact Us.
*No registration required.
 
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