Jane Rooney was appointed Canada’s first Financial Literacy Leader on April 10, 2014. Her mandate is to provide national leadership on financial literacy and strengthen the financial knowledge, skills and confidence of Canadians. She collaborates with stakeholders across the country to promote financial literacy, and she oversees the development of online content, tools and programs that help educate Canadians so they can make responsible financial decisions.
Message from the Financial Literacy Leader
Since taking on this role, I have been honoured to help Canadians strengthen their financial literacy.
We have a lot to be proud of: Our country is a world leader when it comes to financial literacy. In 2016, we tied for third place out of 29 countries in an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report that measured financial literacy. But there are still gaps and we have much work to do. Many Canadians have high debt and low savings. And less than half of Canadians have a basic household budget, which we know is key for improved financial planning.
We face other challenges. We live in a rapidly changing, digital world where we make fast decisions about our money. As well, financial products and services are increasingly complicated.
Financial literacy is a shared responsibility, and we all have a role to play.
For our part, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) works with public, private, and community-based stakeholders across the country to promote financial education. We connect financial literacy networks with one another and we collaborate with other federal governments departments. We created a National Strategy for Financial Literacy — Count me in, Canada. We also developed a series of free, online tools and programs for consumers to use as they budget, save, plan their finances, and make important choices, whether it’s about buying a new home, managing debt, or saving for retirement.
Moving forward, our focus is on undertaking initiatives to achieve concrete improvements in financial literacy outcomes. We want to help people budget, save, and better understand their rights and responsibilities. We will measure results, in part, through our program evaluations and our Canadian Financial Capability Survey that the federal government fields every five years. The next survey will be in 2019.
We will advance our efforts through the new National Research Plan for Financial Literacy, which identifies gaps and areas for further research and education. As well, in January 2017, FCAC appointed 15 new committee members to the National Steering Committee on Financial Literacy. They represent the diversity of our country and are all leaders in their fields. They will build on the work of the inaugural committee and advise us as we continue to strengthen our country’s financial literacy.
I am excited about the tremendous collaboration across Canada and the momentum that’s building. We have made a lot of progress and we have a clear plan going forward.
There are things all Canadians can do. We want people to budget, set up savings, including emergency savings, and talk about money in their homes, at their workplaces, and with financial professionals. We encourage everyone to learn more by taking advantage of the educational content, programs, and tools on FCAC’s website and in FCAC’s Canadian Financial Literacy Database.
When we all come together and manage our money well, we all benefit.
I look forward to working with all Canadians as we continue on the path towards greater financial literacy.
Financial Literacy Leader