Canadians have their say on Financial Literacy

Task Force releases consultation document announcing online forum and cross-Canada sessions

OTTAWA, Feb. 22 /CNW/ - Canada's Task Force on Financial Literacy kicked off an extensive national consultation process with the release of a consultation document exploring key issues about how Canadians make financial decisions.

"Financial literacy is essential to all Canadians," said Task Force Chair Donald A. Stewart. "It has the power to enhance quality of life for Canadians and their families - at all income levels - and make Canada stronger, more competitive and successful."

The consultation document released today - Leveraging Excellence - identifies pressing issues facing all Canadians. Among the nine major themes on which Canadians will be consulted are: managing debt, saving and investing, retirement planning, and preventing fraud.

Canadians will also be given an exceptional opportunity to speak about their financial needs and aspirations, in writing, online and in-person during a series of consultation sessions across the country. Leveraging Excellence can serve as a starting point for those wishing to participate.

Between April 6 and May 13, sessions with Task Force members will be held in every province and territory - in Calgary, Charlottetown, Halifax, Iqaluit, Moncton, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City, St. John's, Saskatoon, Toronto, Vancouver, Whitehorse, Winnipeg and Yellowknife.

"We need to hear from people from every walk of life, to make sure the views, values and experiences of Canadians are reflected in the recommendations we will be making on a national strategy to improve Canadians' financial literacy," said Task Force Vice Chair L. Jacques Ménard.

Background

Since being named by the federal Minister of Finance in June 2009, the Task Force has been examining the state of financial literacy initiatives in Canada and abroad, speaking with experts involved in financial literacy, and identifying the key issues that need to be brought to the attention of Canadians through its public consultations. Comprised of 13 members drawn from the business and education sectors, community organizations and academia, the Task Force will deliver advice, recommendations and a concrete action plan to the federal Minister of Finance by December 2010.

The Task Force defines financial literacy as, "having the knowledge, skills and confidence to make responsible financial decisions."

"Our goal is to find a way for Canada to leverage the variety of programs and resources that currently exist to the benefit of all Canadians, to identify a framework for greater collaboration and to 'connect the dots' in order to share or build on expertise and approaches and create a 'made-in-Canada' solution," said Mr. Stewart.

Canadians can send in written submissions via fax, email or mail until April 30, participate in the public sessions or contribute to an online forum.

"The Task Force wants to hear from as many interested Canadians as possible," said Mr. Stewart. "We look forward to receiving the input of citizens and organizations as we travel across the country."

For additional information on the Task Force and its consultations visit http://www.financialliteracyincanada.com

Dates and cities - public sessions

    
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    April     6    Vancouver, Yellowknife     20    Quebec City, Halifax
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              7    Calgary                    21    Moncton, Charlottetown
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              8    Saskatoon                  22    St. John's
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              9    Winnipeg                   23    Iqaluit
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             19    Toronto, Montreal          27    Whitehorse
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    May      11    Toronto                 12-13    Ottawa
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SOURCE TASK FORCE ON FINANCIAL LITERACY

For further information: For further information: Media inquiries: John Kane, Senior Communications Advisor, Task Force on Financial Literacy Secretariat, (613) 960-0787, info@financialliteracyincanada.com

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TASK FORCE ON FINANCIAL LITERACY

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