Financial Literacy

Count me in Canada; time to get financially literate

By: Gary Parkinson on June 18, 2015

The literacy rate in Canada is among the best in the world, with 2003 census data stating that 99 percent of all Canadians are fully literate. The creators of a new national strategy passed this week hope to improve the financial literacy rate across the country to help Canadians make informed decisions with their money.

The two public faces of this strategy are Minister of State for Finance Kevin Sorenson and Financial Literacy Leader of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, Jane Rooney. The program is called the National Strategy for Financial Literacy – Count me in Canada, which will put Canadians in touch with resources to manage money responsibly and plan for retirement.

Supporting Sorenson, Rooney, and their respective departments in creating this new strategy is the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA). The Association put out a statement that fully supports the Financial Literacy Strategy by emphasizing that all Canadians should understand how to make sense of financial documents, including insurance forms.

Leslie Byrnes, Vice President of Distribution and Pensions for CLHIA, believes Canadians should have access to resources that dissect financial terminology.

“We not only support the overarching objectives of the strategy, but we are also committed to building financial literacy through clear communication initiatives that improve the readability of insurance documents and through financial education materials that engage consumers.”

Canadians are coping with near record high levels of household debt, and financial analysts across the country worry not enough households will be prepared for the true cost of retirement. Sorenson, Rooney, and other champions of the financial literacy strategy hope to curb the number of Canadians living in unmanageable debt to support long term prosperity for all citizens.

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