November is financial literacy month in Canada. Strengthening the financial well-being of Canadians is the vision of the National Strategy for Financial Literacy—Count me in, Canada. The federal government ministry in charge of this program is the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC). The 2016 campaign is called “Managing money and debt wisely: It pays to know” and includes the themes of budgeting, rights and responsibilities, and having a savings plan. While this program applies to all Canadians, there is no doubt as to the importance of students learning about finance and how to responsibly manage personal, as well as business finances.
The Ontario Chamber Network has had a policy resolution on the books for several years now calling for a more focused and dedicated high school curriculum around financial literacy. The resolution peers into the future and suggests that one reason for adjusting the curriculum is that there may be a need for Ontarians with non-traditional
business skills to run their own businesses. Another point made in the resolution is that Canadian household debt hit record levels in 2015 with roughly 80% of the population in debt. Half of all consumer spending (retail and housing) occurs in Ontario and BC alone.
Ultimately, the resolution concludes by urging the Ontario Government to:
Let’s break them down.
Having a population armed with the tools and knowledge to manage finances is a proactive approach to ensuring a productive economy.