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EBO News Updates



EBO News Updates

Better Financial Protections for Vulnerable ConsumersIMG 0936
Ontario Lowering Rates for Payday Loans and Other Services

Ontario is protecting vulnerable consumers by reducing the cost of borrowing and other fees for alternative financial services such as payday loans.

Beginning on January 1, 2018:

  • The cap on the cost of borrowing for payday loans will be reduced to $15 per $100 borrowed from the current level of $18.
  • Ontario municipalities will be allowed to restrict the areas in which payday loan shops open and the number that can operate in a given area.

Additional protections for consumers will come into effect on July 1, 2018, including:

  • The maximum fees for cashing government-issued cheques will be capped at $2 plus 1 per cent of the face value of the cheque, or $10; whichever is less. There is currently no cap on cheque-cashing fees.
  • Lenders will only be able to lend up to 50 per cent of a borrower's net pay and would have to give payday loan borrowers the option of an extended payment plan if they take out three or more loans in a 63 day period.
  • Protecting consumers is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.

Quick Facts

  • 2018 will be the second consecutive year that the government has lowered the maximum cost of borrowing for a payday loan. In 2016 it was $21 per $100 borrowed. It is currently $18 per $100 borrowed until the end of 2017.
  • Payday loan and cheque cashing operations offer services outside mainstream banks and credit unions, with fees that are typically much higher. For example the cost of borrowing on a $300 payday loan is currently capped at $54 over a two week period. By comparison, a typical credit card with a 23 per cent annual interest rate and $3.50 service fee would cost $6.15 over the same period.
  • Payday loans typically have to be repaid two weeks after borrowing the money.
  • All payday lenders are required to post information in their stores that shows the total cost of borrowing of payday loans compared to lines of credit and credit cards.

Additional Resources

Read more about your consumer rights at ontario.ca/PaydayLoans.


“This is another step that the government has taken to help protect Ontario consumers. We also know this is an important issue in cities like Ottawa, so in addition to new province-wide rules, we’re happy to give municipalities new tools to reflect local priorities.”

Ottawa-Vanier MPP Nathalie Des Rosiers on behalf of Government and Consumer Services Minister Tracy MacCharles

“Unfortunately, many of these organizations’ customers are some of the most financially vulnerable. We’re trying to better educate people so they don’t actually need these very high-cost services. But for those who still need them, there’s no question that the government’s changes will help.”
Gerald Cossette
President of the Board of Directors, EBO Financial Education Centre

In the photo, from left to right: Doug Pawson, Causeway Work Centre; Nathalie Des Rosiers, MPP, Ottawa-Vanier; Gérald Cossette, Board President, EBO Financial Education Centre; Hélène Ménard, Executive Director, EBO Financial Education Centre; Mathieu Fleury, City of Ottawa Councillor, Rideau-Vanier

Download the press release in PDF or read it on the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services's websiteMinistry of Government and Consumer Services's website


Jenny Gullen, member of the Board of Directors at EBO Centre, speaks at FMI Training Session

FMI Jenny Gullen 19 octobre 2017Last October 19th, Jenny Gullen, member of the Board of Directors at EBO Financial Education Centre (EBO Centre), spoke to 80 members of the Financial Management Institute of Canada (FMI,) during one of the training sessions. She presented the Centre’s accomplishments during the last year, and invited FMI members to become a member of EBO or a volunteer, by becoming an income income-tax volunteer or by sitting on the Board of Directors.

For the 6th consecutive year, FMI chose EBO Centre as the charity organization of the year. Jenny Gullen, accepted a $200.00 check on behalf of the organization from Sherry Sharpe, interim president of FMI- Capital Chapter.

Click here to access Jenny's speech.

Prosper Canada video series for the Ontario Financial Empowerment Champions

Prosper Canada just released a series of videos for the Ontario Financial Empowerment Champions! See the videos here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC0J2kAG0MZZ9aJGq9m2swyxOF_TVVarL

Véronique Perron, member of the Board of Directors at EBO Centre, speaks at FMI Training Session
Last May 11th, Véronique Perron, member of the Board of Directors at EBO Financial Education Centre (EBO Centre), spoke to 80 members of the Financial Management Institute of Canada (FMI,) during one of the training sessions.  She presented the Centre’s accomplishments during the last year, and invited FMI members to become a member of EBO or a volunteer, by becoming an income income-tax volunteer or by sitting on the Board of Directors.

For the 5th consecutive year, FMI chose EBO Centre as the charity organization of the year.  On behalf of the organization, Véronique Perron and Nicolas Raymond, both members of the Board of Directors, accepted a $200.00 cheque from Janet Mrenica.

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On the photo: from left to right: Véronique Perron, Janet Mrenica (FMI), Ian Raskin (FMI) and Nicolas Raymond.

Click here to read Véronique's speech.

Entraide budgétaire Ottawa Presents Joseph Assabgui Award to 2014-2015 Volunteer of the Year

Veronique 2015The volunteer of the year for 2014-2015 has worked tirelessly for many years to strengthen EBO’s collaborations with other agencies, funders, organizations and ministries to promote the organization as well as to increase financial literacy among socioeconomically vulnerable people in Ottawa.

The selection committee that chose the volunteer of the year includes: Diane Vachon, Hélène Ménard, and myself, Véronique Perron. The decision was, of course, approved by the EBO Board of Directors.

The 5 selection criteria for choosing the volunteer of the year for 2014-2015 are as follows: 

The candidate has been a volunteer for the organization since 2007. Since his/her nomination to the Board of Directors, he/she has fulfilled multiple positions. This person is very devoted to the organization, most especially to services rendered for the purpose of improvement of quality of life of his/her fellow citizens. He/she is a strategic person with a respectful approach. ALL members of the Board of Directors appreciate his/her ideas, his/her interpersonal skills, and his/her know-how. 

He/she plays a major role in welcoming and supporting other volunteers and staff in their tasks. We can say that the person chosen brings people together and has substantial experience in management. How fortunate we are to be able to work side by side with a volunteer having such a rich background. Board members past and present appreciate his/her leadership style as well as his/her great sense of integrity.

Criteria #3: Availability

Despite having a very demanding professional life, he/she demonstrates an exemplary

availability when it comes to rendering services to organization members. Weeknights, weekends, by email or in person, he/she is always there! Often, he/she offers his/her office as a meeting place, volunteers to drive members home after meetings, and even gets involved in logistics!

Criteria #4: Participation in several committees, initiatives, and launches

He/she is very comfortable getting involved in public events. For example, he/she played a major role in facilitating and greeting guests at events such as the 35th anniversary festivities and at the press conference for the launch of the Personal Finance, I’m in Charge program, with our partner Desjardins.

Criteria #5 : Initiation of measures for improving certain services offered by the organization

The volunteer excels at making the different strengths of the Board work towards a common goal. He or she has initiated changes in policies affecting wages, permanent staff, a harmonious workplace; the evaluation process…all would agree that all of this has had a positive impact on staff retention at EBO.

Gerald 2015Finally, the person we have chosen believes in EBO’s mission and is active in promoting the educational activities of the organization. His/her advocacy has contributed to increasing financial literacy among other volunteers of the organization as well as in the Ottawa community. Like other volunteers who have received the Joseph Assabgui Award before him (Celso Arrais, Johanne Laurent or Richard Monette), he/she exudes supportiveness. He/she is a team player with whom it is a pleasure working towards a better quality of life for all! 

As you may have guessed, our Volunteer of the Year is the President of EBO’s Board of Directors, our very dear Gérald Cossette.

Congratulations to you, Gérald!


The EBO Financial Education Centre receives the Charitable Organization Award


Entraide budgétaire Ottawa's 35th Anniversary Celebration


Entraide budgétaire Ottawa Presents Joseph Assabgui Award to 2013-2014 Volunteer of the Year

2013 Volunteer AwardThe selection criteria for the 2013 Volunteer of the Year:

1.Significant contribution of hours devoted to serving the organization’s clientsts
2.Availability to assist the organization when needed
3.Proven initiative for a new volunteer position offering direct services for consumer interventions
4.Active role in assisting staff and other volunteers in their work

The candidate has volunteered for the organizations since 2012. He joined the tax services team having learned about EBO on the Volunteer Ottawa (http://volunteerottawa.ca/) website. This recipient of the Joseph Assabgui Award was accepted as a member of EBO at the June 4th 2013 Annual General Meeting.

Criteria #1: In 2013 alone, the candidate contributed 400 hours towards the income tax program. At times, he also greeted EBO visitors. Rain or shine, he always waited for his next appointment with calmness and respectfulness. His volunteer team brought over $1.3 million in income tax returns and Ontario Trillium Benefits to the community.

Criteria #2: We cannot count the number of times the candidate ran to EbO’s rescue by answering phone calls, and greeting and working with last-minute walk-ins. He has always been happy to welcome new volunteers to the organization. Always available to help us out, he has shown remarkable patience with disconcerted clients who were unsure of where to turn to for help with a financial problem. He is a good team player.

Criteria #3: The candidate started his volunteering by filing income tax returns. It was at this point that we noticed his high level of compassion and establishing a report with others. We prepared him a description of tasks involved in meeting with a tax service client for the first time, which consists of collecting the appropriate documentation to allow for filing an income tax claim. It is in this crucial position that he accumulated over 400 volunteer hours.

Criteria #4: The candidate contributed to the promotion of financial literacy, along with other EbO volunteers. As with other volunteers who have received the Joseph Assabgui Award before him (Patrick l’Hermine, Janet Onyango, Françoise Viau and/or Richard Monette), he exudes supportiveness and is a team player with whom it is a pleasure to work.

The Board of Directors is proud to offer the Joseph Assabgui Award to Celso Arrais!


EbO Receives "Charitable Organization of the Year" Award

FMI-IGFThis past February 27, the Capital Chapter of the Financial Management Institute of Canada (FMI) named Entraide budgétaire Ottawa (EbO) its charitable organization of the year. This recognition also came with a donation of $200. The award was presented at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa on this past February 27. We are very pleased to receive such recognition from an association as prestigious as FMI, for a second year in a row.

Mr. Gérald Cossette, Past Chair of EbO’s board of directors, began by addressing the group of 150 FMI members who were gathered for a training at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa to ask that they act as ambassadors for our organization, and described the services we offer as well as the number of consumers we serve on an annual basis. Mr. Cossette continued by eloquently demonstrating that with an operating budget of approximately $375,000, EbO’s activities are clearly a worthy investment. In order to prove this, he provided the example of the number of income tax return claims filed by EbO, which returned over $1.2 million to socioeconomically vulnerable taxpayers.

FMI is a volunteer-run non-profit organization known across the country. It consists of fourteen chapters across Canada, including The Capital, which includes individuals from the Ottawa-Gatineau area who actively work on improving financial management in all levels of public employment.

Entraide budgétaire Ottawa is a non-profit charitable organization offering counselling support and education services to socioeconomically vulnerable consumers in the large city of Ottawa. We currently have over 150 members and it would be interesting for FMI members to become EbO members over the next year.

For more information, please contact Hélène Ménard at 613-746-0400, extension 204, or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Presentation of the Joseph Assabgui Award  to Entraide Budgétaire Ottawa’s 2012-2013 Outstanding Volunteer

Criteria for selecting the 2012 Volunteer of the Year:

1) Noted contribution to the organization
2) Availability to come to the aid of the organization when needed
3) Proven initiative on a number of the organization’s projects and services
4) Active role in training volunteers and fostering cooperation

 patrick et Gérald 1Candidate: Patrick L’Hermine

Patrick L’Hermine first volunteered with Entraide Budgétaire’s tax preparation service in February 2012.  He joined the organization of his own volition, having learned about it on the Revenue Canada website.  He officially applied to become a member the following May. 

Criteria #1: The candidate became involved with the tax services unit of the organization during a particularly challenging time, on that was marked by a change in management and a serious lack of adequately trained volunteers to meet the demand.  He worked hard to clear up the backlog, personally completing hundreds of income tax returns on behalf of Entraide Budgétaire’s clients.  To his credit, he and his trained team of volunteers returned more that $ 1.2 million in taxes and benefits to those clients.

Criteria #2: The candidate often came to Entraide Budgetaire’s rescue to resolve technical problems that arose when the organization’s computer system crashed or froze. Patrick spent innumerable hours on the phone with Bell technicians to resolve these issues, and as such became the office’s poster boy for incredible patience.

Criteria #3: The candidate suggested a number of improvements to the services offered by the organization. For example, he simplified the taxpayer intake form of the tax services unit making it easier for clients to understand and respond in a timely manner.

Criteria #4: The candidate was a strong proponent of financial literacy and promoted its benefits among   volunteers and clients. As was the case with previous recipients of the Joseph Assabgui Award, such as Gilles Grondin , Arthur Joly and Joseph himself, the candidate proved to be an outstanding trainer.  It was very motivating to observe and listen to him talk about taxation with new volunteer recruits.

 Entraide Budgétaire Video: Françoise -- Living a rich life with help from Entraide Budgétaire


Françoise left her job as executive director of a reputable francophone organization, sold her house and was ready to move across the ocean -- all in the name of love. When it didn't work out Françoise was left financially devastated. With the help of Entraide Budgétaire, a United Way partner, Françoise was able to create a budget that worked and get her life back on track.

Click here to watch the video.

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Entraide budgétaire Ottawa Receives from FMI “Charitable Organization of Choice”

This past February 28, the Chair of Entraide Budgétaire Ottawa Board of Directors, Gerald Cossette, gave a speech to the members of the Financial Management Institute of Canada in which he thanked them for having chosen Entraide Budgetaire as the charitable organization of choice.

The event took place at the Ottawa Congress Centre and gathered approximately one hundred people from the area. This was the first time that such an organization has publicly recognized the relevance and importance of the work of Entraide Budgétaire’s counselors and volunteers. Mr. Cossette took advantage of the opportunity to invite the Institute to become ambassadors of Entraide, reminding the financial sector of the role that our organization plays in the resolving personal financial issues as well as in the promotion of financial literacy.

We are honored and believe that this recognition will increase Entraide Budgétaire’s visibility beyond the scope of our existing network.

We would like to thank all who have contributed to our success and who continue to help us to improve financial health.

Volunteer of the Year 2011-2012: Janet Onyango

Janet Onyango bénévole 2012At Entraide Budgetaire's AGM held on 14 June 2012, the Chairman of the Board, Mr. Gérald Cossette offered the Volunteer of the Year 2012 award to Janet Onyango.

Spokesperson of the PEP board committee, she was crucial to the development of evaluation plans for all services of the organization. It keeps other board members informed of committee activities.

She was able to guide the committee during meetings with the United Way and provided the expertise required for the development of evaluation questionnaires for users and the organization’s partners.

Janet was an important asset for the development of the results of requests for funding to the United Way and  to the Ontario Trillium Foundation. She currently plays an active role in the development of evaluation plans of the SEDI and Ontario Trillium Foundation projects.

Janet always comes prepared to board meetings, and is an active member. She asserts herself more and more at meetings.

Janet often represents EbO very well, for example at the "Timeraiser" event last November and at the United Way Community Builders event in 2010.

Criteria for selecting the Volunteer of the Year 2012 :

1)    The importance of the volunteer’s contribution to the organization
2)    Availability to accommodate the organization
3)    Active on several committees or initiatives
4)    The person has worked to enhance EbO’s collaboration with several organizations and agencies to promote financial literacy to vulnerable people of Ottawa



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