Lack of financial literacy a crisis for Canadians - SEDI commends the
work of the Task Force for raising awareness of critical issues.
TORONTO, Feb. 9 /CNW/ - Financial literacy, the knowledge, skills and
confidence to make responsible financial decisions, is now more
important than ever. Currently, Canadians owe a record high of $1.48
for every $1 of disposable income. Canada's debt-to-disposable income
ratio is now higher than that of its American neighbours for the first
time in 12 years.
Social and Enterprise Development Innovations (SEDI) commends the Task Force on Financial Literacy for addressing the critical lack of financial literacy in Canada and
for recommending a national strategy to help Canadians be more
knowledgeable consumers, savers and investors. The Task Force strategy,
presented today to Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty, includes key
recommendations proposed by SEDI such as:
Investing in the capacity of the voluntary sector, including
not-for-profit and community groups, to offer financial literacy
programs to vulnerable populations, low-income earners and persons
Linking financial literacy information and supports to government
programs that provide opportunities for financial planning and
investing such as the Registered Retirement Savings Plan, the
Registered Disability Savings Plan and the Canada Learning Bond.
Working with the private sector to bring personal finance training to
"We commend the federal government for recognizing the critical
importance of financial literacy. We also commend the diligent and
thorough work of the Task Force members, who engaged Canadians in every
province and territory in building a much-needed national strategy on
financial literacy," said Laura Watts, CEO of SEDI.
"There is no better time for government to take the lead in helping
Canadians increase their knowledge and skills to manage everyday
finances. This includes saving for a rainy day, post-secondary
education, retirement or other life events. Given that six in 10
Canadians would be at risk if their paycheques were delayed by even a
week, many households are not far from financial crisis. It is vitally
important that government recognizes financial literacy as an essential
skill and makes significant investments in the Task Force
"SEDI is analyzing the Task Force strategy and looks forward to actively
contributing to the process of making financial literacy a priority in
Canada by working with governments and other sectors of society."
Founded in 1986, SEDI is a national, charitable organization active at
the forefront of financial literacy. Since 1995, it has helped
community groups across Canada to build their capacity to deliver
financial literacy programs to low-income earners and persons at-risk.
SEDI has long identified financial literacy as an essential skill and a
vital area of public policy. In 2008, SEDI successfully recommended to
the federal government the creation of a task force on financial
literacy to boost financial education in Canada in a coordinated,
strategic and inclusive manner. Also in 2008, SEDI created its
division, the Canadian Centre for Financial Literacy, to build community capacity, conduct research and provide consulting
in the field of financial literacy.
For more information on SEDI, visit www.sedi.org.
SOURCE SEDI (Social and Enterprise Development Innovations)
For further information:
416-665-2828, ext. 226 / Mobile: 647-802-1296