Government of Canada Helps Empower Canadians to Build Their Financial Health

TORONTO, April 7, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, today announced more than $5.3 million in funding to Prosper Canada for its Financial Empowerment Champions project for vulnerable Canadians. Funded through the Children and Families component of the Social Development and Partnerships Program (SDPP), the project sets out to help more than one million vulnerable Canadians over the next four and a half years by developing the partnerships, tools and community supports they need to build their financial capability and health.

With this support from the Government of Canada, and matching funds raised from other partners, Prosper Canada will recruit, train and support five not-for-profit organizations across Canada to: deliver a suite of proven financial empowerment programs to Canadians with low incomes, train other community organizations to deliver these services, mobilize local partners and resources, and work with municipal and provincial governments to build financial empowerment solutions into existing services for people with low incomes where this can help improve program effectiveness and financial outcomes for participants.

Vulnerable Canadians will benefit from access to quality financial education and counselling and help tax filing, accessing income benefits, opening bank accounts, and opening RESPs and RDSPs—supports that have been shown to improve their incomes, savings, debt levels and credit scores, when delivered effectively with other community programs.

The Government of Canada's Budget 2016 highlighted action slated to revitalize the economy and create opportunity for all Canadians. In supporting this project, the Government demonstrates its commitment to growing the middle class and those working hard to join it.  By helping to boost the economic and social security of Canadian families and children, the Government is delivering positive change Canadians deserve.

This project builds on previous SDPP commitments to encourage the development of partnerships that cross traditional boundaries between the public, for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. This project will benefit from substantial matching investments by the TD Bank Group and other private-sector, philanthropic, and government supporters. By leveraging these partnerships, working closely with communities, and relying on local expertise to find local solutions to social issues, the Government is exploring new approaches to increasing the impact of federal investments in social innovation and communities.

 Quick Facts

  • To help  families save for their children's post-secondary education, the Government of Canada provides Registered Education Saving Plans (RESP) and important education savings grants and incentives:
  • The  Canada Learning Bond (up to $2,000 for children from low-income families to help jump start their education savings)
  • The Canada Education Savings Grant and Additional Canada Education Savings Grant (savings incentives to help low- and middle-income families save for their children's education)
  • Another savings opportunity is available through the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), a long-term savings plan to help Canadians with disabilities and their families save for the future.
  • The Government of Canada's Budget 2016 reaffirmed plans to introduce the Canada Child Benefit that will help families with the high cost of raising their children. The Benefit will be tax-free, based on income and will provide more support for those who need it the most. The Benefit will provide nine out of ten families with more generous benefits, and lift hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty. It will aim to reduce Canada's child poverty rate by 50 percent in five years.


"The Government of Canada is pleased to support Prosper Canada's project. We are committed to helping develop new approaches with the for-profit, not-for-profit and charitable sectors through social innovation to ensure Canadian families thrive socially and economically. This project will go a long way to providing low-income families with essential information and effective tools and community supports they can use to become self-sufficient and enjoy a more prosperous way of life." 
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

"We commend the Government of Canada for its innovative funding approach in support of financial empowerment—mobilizing national resources to support community-driven solutions and encouraging the participation and collaboration of partners from all sectors in combating poverty."
Elizabeth Mulholland, Chief Executive Officer, Prosper Canada

"Empowering people to improve their financial well-being requires active engagement from across all sectors. Community-driven initiatives such as Prosper Canada's Financial Empowerment Champions project will help to improve the financial outcomes of low-income households and ultimately, build stronger communities. As Canada's Financial Literacy Leader, I applaud the funding of projects that help households build their financial knowledge, skills and confidence and enable Canadians to invest in their financial future." 
Jane Rooney, Financial Literacy Leader, Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

"TD is proud to support Prosper Canada, alongside the Government of Canada, in developing resources, tools and supports needed to increase financial literacy levels. We know that when we work together to improve the financial knowledge and well-being of lower income Canadians, we are investing in a long term solution to strengthen our communities for future generations."
John Capozzolo, Senior Vice President, Direct Channels, TD Bank Group

Associated links

Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook


Social Development Partnerships Program

The Social Development Partnerships Program (SDPP) is a grant and contribution program that supports the social infrastructure of Canadian society through investment in not-for-profit organizations to help improve life outcomes for people with disabilities, children and families, and other vulnerable populations.

The SDPP has two core components: the children and families component and the disabilities component. The program also provides the funding authority to support the Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards, which recognizes the enormous contribution volunteers make to Canada.

SDPP objectives are to:

  • support the development and use of effective approaches to address social issues and challenges;
  • develop, exchange and apply knowledge, tools and resources that address social needs of individuals, families and communities;
  • foster partnerships and networks to address existing and emerging social issues;
  •  recognize and support the ability of not-for-profit organizations to identify and address social development priorities; and
  • recognize and promote community engagement initiatives (e.g. volunteerism, corporate social responsibility, innovation by not-for-profit organizations, partnerships and coalitions) that mobilize community assets and develop capacities and resources for action.

Prosper Canada

Prosper Canada, is a national charity dedicated to expanding economic opportunity for Canadians living in poverty through program and policy innovation. Prosper Canada works with government, business and community partners to develop and promote financial policies, programs and resources that remove barriers and help more Canadians to prosper. The Prosper Canada Centre for Financial Literacy is co-founded and supported by TD Bank Group.

The Financial Empowerment Champions project covers a broad spectrum of initiatives through which Prosper Canada and its partners intend to improve the financial well-being of Canadians living in or at risk of poverty. Initiatives include:

  • increasing the financial knowledge and skills of 140,000 people living on low incomes and people with disabilities;
  • having financial counsellors meet with 5,000 low-income, vulnerable people to create financial action plans tailored to their needs;
  • making it possible for 8,000 RESP's to be opened by people living on low incomes;
  • assisting 13,000 people living on low incomes to file their income tax returns; and
  • arranging for 400 low-income individuals to open a bank account if they don't have one.


SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information: Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559,; Julie McFayden, Prosper Canada, 416-665-2828 ext.2231,

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890