The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, and the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec), today welcomed the final report of the Task Force on Financial Literacy. The report, entitled Canadians and Their Money, makes recommendations for a cohesive national strategy to support initiatives across Canada aimed at improving financial literacy for all Canadians.
"Improving financial literacy helps consumers make knowledgeable and confident decisions towards achieving their financial goals," said Minister Flaherty. "I am very pleased today, on behalf of the Harper Government, to thank the Task Force members for their dedicated efforts in concluding this challenging task."
Launched in 2009, the Task Force fulfilled a commitment 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. The 13 Task Force members were drawn from the business and education sectors, community organizations and academia. The Task Force was chaired by Donald A. Stewart, Chief Executive Officer of Sun Life Financial Inc. L. Jacques Ménard, Chairman of BMO Nesbitt Burns, was Vice-Chair.
"Every Canadian faces financial decisions each day," said Mr. Stewart. "Some are small, others are critical. For most Canadians, making the right decisions, or putting them off entirely, can have a major impact on our financial well-being, and even our health and happiness. That's what this initiative by the Task Force on Financial Literacy is all about-encouraging Canadians to take action and helping them make the right financial decisions."
The Task Force report was released today at the offices of Entraide budgétaire, an Ottawa non-profit community budget counselling service. "Entraide budgétaire helps people make the most of their hard-earned income and adapt to life's challenges through sound budget planning and managing," said Minister Flaherty. "The motto here is, 'it all comes down to budgeting.' As someone who has a passing familiarity with making budgets-indeed, who is working hard on Budget 2011 right now-I could not agree more."
"Our Government remains focused on the economy," said Minister Lebel. "We are providing Canadians with the tools and knowledge that will help them make the best decisions for their personal finances and their families' future."
The Minister noted that Canada's national strategy on financial literacy will leverage the excellent efforts now underway throughout the country, empowering Canadians to act knowledgeably and with confidence in managing their personal financial affairs.
The Task Force report is available at www.financialliteracyincanada.com
For further information, media may contact:
Office of the Minister of Finance
Department of Finance