The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today announced the establishment of Canada’s Task Force on Financial Literacy to help create a cohesive national strategy to support initiatives across Canada aimed at improving financial education.
“Our economy is built on millions of everyday financial decisions by Canadians,” said Minister Flaherty. “Recent events have shown us that there are major risks and that financial literacy is an important life skill. Whether it is a question of saving for retirement, financing a new home or balancing the family chequebook, improving the financial literacy of Canadians will add to the stability of our financial system and make our economy stronger.”
The task force fulfills a commitment made in Canada’s Economic Action Plan to outline objectives, including a concrete plan of action and a framework for collaboration among stakeholders, for moving forward and measuring progress on financial literacy in Canada. Members of the task force are drawn from the business and education sectors, community organizations and academia. The task force will be chaired by Donald A. Stewart, Chief Executive Officer of Sun Life Financial Inc. L. Jacques Ménard, Chairman of BMO Nesbitt Burns, will be the Vice-Chair.
“I am honoured to undertake this role and I look forward to working with such a strong and diverse task force to carry out our ambitious mandate,” said Mr. Stewart. “Valuable insights can be found internationally and I hope to bring that perspective forward to help Canadians make informed decisions to improve their lives.”
“A great deal of fine work is going on across Canada on financial literacy, be it in schools, in volunteer groups, through provincial programs or through the federal Financial Consumer Agency of Canada,” said Minister Flaherty. “This task force will develop a strategic plan to build on this collective effort to help make all Canadians more knowledgeable consumers, investors and savers.”
Minister Flaherty said the task force complements other elements in Canada’s Economic Action Plan to strengthen consumer protection, such as the recently announced improvements to credit card regulations, which included improved disclosure of interest rate changes.