In a nice follow up to my last post, the City of London have released their report on the cheque cashing situation. This was a follow-up to a letter that the London Homeless Coalition had sent to the City, triggering a follow-up from their research division. I had the privilege of participating in the consultations.
Most importantly, the City has focused on pressing issues up to the provincial level, where it is most appropriate that they be dealt with. The two main points are:
- Streamlining access to government ID. In particular, if individuals are already going through an identification process with Ontario Works, it doesn’t make much sense that they have to then do the same for a health card.
- Indemnity agreements. What does this mean? Well, for example, the federal government has indemnity agreements with all banks for income tax and GST cheques. This means that the feds take the risk of any fraudulent actions. In Manitoba, the province has done the same thing with social assistance cheques. This means that anyone could cash an OW or ODSP cheque at any bank, the province assumes the risk.