Financial Literacy Month - Time for Canadian Leadership - and Leadership in Canada

TORONTO, Oct. 31, 2013 /CNW/ - We live in challenging financial times - times offering opportunity to some - and significant stress for many others. Many Canadian households are experiencing anxiety over what the future holds in store - and many feel ill-prepared to manage their financial affairs with confidence and competence. As a result, financial literacy, finding and using sources of sound financial advice, and being able to manage one's own financial affairs effectively is more important than ever for Canadians.

In recognition of this challenge, a number of organizations joined together to raise awareness of the issue and are working together to find solutions.  The Financial Literacy Action Group (FLAG) includes ABC Life Literacy Canada, the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE), Credit Canada: Debt Solutions, Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC), Junior Achievement, Investor Education Fund (IEF), and Social and Enterprise Development Innovations (SEDI).  FLAG was instrumental in establishing November as Financial Literacy Month in Canada. This November, FLAG and other organizations involved in financial literacy initiatives anxiously await the announcement of the federal government's "Financial Literacy Leader." 

Leadership to overcome our challenges, and to improve financial literacy, will come from many sources - within organizations, locally, provincially, and regionally. But FLAG supports leadership at the national level and the increased collaboration and synergy that can come from a pan-Canadian perspective that national leadership can provide.

Canada, with the talent, experience, and expertise available also has what is needed to help provide leadership in financial literacy at the international level. Therefore, not only is there the capability to pursue initiatives that can make a difference in the lives of many Canadians, we can also help many other countries that are struggling at the early stages of such efforts. To aspire to global leadership in this field of learning is an important - and reasonable - goal for Canada.

The FLAG organizations have developed a set of consensus recommendations for efforts that will be important at the national level in Canada - and that we hope are considered by the "Financial Literacy Leader" whenever he or she is appointed. These recommendations are:

  • Develop and widely share a clear rationale for improving financial literacy in Canada and identify the benefits to be derived;
  • Clearly differentiate the target audiences perceived to have the greatest needs and undertake an assessment to identify those precise needs;
  • Support organizations in their efforts to meet, collaborate, and coordinate their goals, objectives, and tactics to avoid duplication and enhance synergy;
  • Collaborate with a "National Network" of involved organizations to establish a research agenda to identify the insights most needed to help achieve success;
  • Collaborate with the "National Network" to develop effective tools for assessing programs and resources - and support the assessment of programs and resources;
  • Showcase those programs and resources that, after assessment and gathered evidence, have been shown to have the best potential for success;
  • Support "scaling up" those programs shown to be successful or with potential for success;
  • In collaboration with the National Network, organize an annual conference to facilitate and encourage networking, knowledge sharing, and showcasing success;
  • Establish benchmarks for measuring success and impact in the future and support the actions necessary to assess our progress, impact, and success over time.

FLAG looks forward to collaborating with the new Financial Literacy Leader, and other groups similar to FLAG across Canada, to help Canadians be better prepared to manage their financial affairs with confidence and competence and to build successful financial futures.  Information on the FLAG organizations and their activities is available at www.FinancialLiteracyMonth.ca.

About FLAG

The Financial Literacy Action Group is a coalition of seven non-profit organizations that have joined together to organize Financial Literacy Month (FLM). FLM will raise awareness of the need for financial literacy, and to highlight the programs, services and tools available to help Canadians strengthen their own financial literacy. The group includes: ABC Life Literacy Canada; Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE); Credit Canada; Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC); Investor Education Fund (IEF); Junior Achievement; and Social and Enterprise Development Innovations (SEDI). The FLAG organizations are working in collaboration with the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) and will reach out to other organizations across the country to participate in FLM.

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SOURCE: Financial Literacy Action Group

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Financial Literacy Action Group

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