Task Force on Financial literacy kicks-off public consultation sessions across Canada

The Task Force on Financial Literacy begins its cross-Canada public consultations today in Vancouver, British Columbia and simultaneously in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. The sessions will feature presentations by groups and individuals representing a cross section of Canadian society, including the private, public and voluntary sectors.

“We are delighted to begin this crucial phase of consultation with Canadians from all regions, provinces and territories,” said Task Force Chair, Don Stewart. “My colleagues and I are eager to hear the views of Canadians about the ways we can build the financial knowledge and skills of individuals so they are well equipped to plan for the future, to weather economic downturns and to navigate major life events. As a country, we have the potential to become a financial literacy leader among nations, but we must engage Canadians in this challenge,” he added.

The Vancouver and Yellowknife consultation sessions mark the first of 17 public meetings where members of the Task Force on Financial Literacy will hear directly from Canadians and engage them in a dialogue regarding financial literacy issues. Among the nine major themes on which Canadians will be consulted are: managing debt, saving and investing, retirement planning, and preventing fraud.

“Canadians have responded in great numbers, and we look forward to hearing their views on what needs to be done to increase financial literacy in Canada,” added Task Force Vice-Chair, L. Jacques Ménard.

The public consultations run from April 6 to May 13, 2010, during which time the Task Force will also host an online forum for comments on its website. The Task Force is also accepting written submissions from Canadians until April 30, 2010 in response to its Consultation Document, Leveraging Excellence, issued on February 22, 2010.

The Task Force on Financial Literacy is comprised of 13 members and will make recommendations to the Minister of Finance on a national strategy to improve financial literacy in Canada. The Task Force will deliver its findings to the Minister of Finance in December 2010 and will make its report available to the public.