On January 5th I sent a letter to Minister Anton seeking clarification as to whether or not legislation was going to be introduced to regulate the debt settlement industry. Similar legislation exists in other provinces (e.g. Ontario and Nova Scotia as well as in a number of US States). Below is the text of the letter. I have yet to receive a reply.
January 5th, 2015
Hon. Suzanne Anton
Minister of Justice
Room 232, Parliament Buildings
Dear Minister Anton:
I am writing you with regards to forthcoming legislation that would regulate the debt settlement industry.
In July of 2012, CTV news reported that the Ministry of Justice said that “In order to better protect consumers and families living in poverty, the B.C. government will provide legislative changes to regulate businesses that provide debt consolidation services and regulate advance fees paid.”
Since that time there has been little information from government about when we can expect to see this legislation.
Debt management companies prey upon some of the most vulnerable British Columbians. Rather than providing a solution to an individual’s debt issue, these companies seek to profit off the situation. A number of provinces including Ontario, Alberta and Nova Scotia have passed legislation to end these abusive practices within their jurisdictions. I think it is past time that British Columbia passes our own regulations which offer proper protection to our citizens.
Can the Minster provide me with an update as to what stage this legislation is currently at, and when we can expect it to be brought before the BC legislature?
Thank you for your time on this matter. I hope you had a wonderful holiday break with friends and family.
MLA Oak Bay-Gordon Head
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