I’ve always looked at the cheque cashing outlets as evil business people who take advantage of the poor who use their services. When I talk to people who don’t use cheque cashing stores as part of their banking, and explain what it is they do regarding their business practises, most seemed shocked. Also, I find that it doesn’t seem to matter what political ideology they are, there is a general consensus that it is wrong.
Today it was announced on CBC Radio that The NDP’s Libby Davies is going to put forth a private members Bill in Parliament that will target businesses like Money Mart. A couple in Vancouver had hired a contractor to do some work for them, and when they found out that the contractor was a fraud, they asked their Bank to cancel the cheque they wrote which was post-dated before it was to be cashed. The Fraudsters cashed the cheque at one of the Money Marts in the Lower Mainland and Money Mart went after the couple for the cost of the cheque after it was cashed–even though it had been cancelled.
The MP for Vancouver East is proposing to amend the law to force businesses like Money Mart to verify the validity of cheques before cashing them, and to prevent them from going after people like the Greens.
The current law says that a company like Money Mart has the right to take the money from the issuer of the cheque after the fraudsters cashed it. So not only is the person who writes the cheque a victim of the fraudsters, but a victim again because they now have to pay the amount on the cancelled cheque to the cheque cashing outlet.
I really hope that the Conservative Minority Government in Ottawa embraces this bill because it is unfair to Canadians and lets criminals legally harm people for their actions and profit from it. We talk about getting tough on crime and stopping people who commit fraud–I think all four parties in Ottawa could see this as an issue that needs to be addressed for the common good.