The Honorable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today announced the establishment of the Task Force on Financial Literacy, which will help create a coherent national strategy to support initiatives across Canada to improve financial education.

“Our economy is based on the millions of financial decisions Canadians make every day,” said Minister Flaherty. Recent events show us that these decisions carry great risks and that financial knowledge is important in everyday life. Better financial literacy will help Canadians who want to save for retirement, finance the purchase of a home, or simply balance the family chequing account, and they will strengthen the stability of our financial system and our economy. ”

The Task Force is fulfilling the commitment in Canada’s Economic Action Plan to set goals, including a concrete action plan and a framework for collaboration among stakeholders, to advance financial education in Canada and to measure progress in this area. The members of the Task Force come from the business and education communities, community organizations and academia. The Working Group will be chaired by Donald A. Stewart, Chief Executive Officer of Sun Life Financial Inc. L. Jacques Ménard, Chairman of the Board of BMO Nesbitt Burns, will be the Vice-Chairman.

“I am honored to take on this role and look forward to working with this strong and diverse group to fulfill our ambitious mandate,” said Mr. Stewart. We can find valuable ideas in other countries, and I hope to put them forward to help Canadians make informed decisions that will improve their lives. ”

“There is a lot of great work being done across the country on financial education, whether in schools, volunteer groups, provincial programs, or through the agency. Canada’s financial consumption, “said Minister Flaherty. The Task Force will develop a strategic plan to build on this collective effort and to help make all Canadians more sophisticated consumers, investors and savers. ”

Minister Flaherty said the Task Force is adding to the other elements of Canada’s Economic Action Plan to strengthen consumer protection, including recently announced improvements to credit cards, which include in more timely time interest rate changes.