CFEE – Celebrating 50 Years


The Canadian Foundation for Economic Education was founded in 1974 to work to improve the economic and financial capability of Canadians. Over the years we have created and implemented literally a great many projects as we have worked to achieve our goal. Our work has included programs and partnerships such as the following 50 that we highlight in this, our 50th year:

1. Department of Finance to write and distribute “Canada’s Economy: What Path, What Future” to help educate Canadians about federal debt and deficits and the need to keep Canada’s financial house stable and in order.

2. The Bank of Canada to write, design, and distribute “Money and Monetary Policy in Canada” to help educate Canadians about the role of the Bank, money and monetary policy, and the importance of keep inflation under control to protect he value of our money.

3. The Economic Council of Canada to help bring important research undertaken by the Council to the attention of Canadians and to factor the findings into their plans and decisions – including insights into economic concepts such as “Economic Development” and “Adjusting to Global Change” exploring how economies change as conditions and realities change.

4. Investors Group to create and distribute “Money and Youth: A Financial Literacy Guide for Youth” – the most extensively used resource in Canada supporting financial literacy. Over 740,000 copies have been distributed to homes and schools; it is used as the core resource for a number of financial literacy courses across Canada; it has been recognized internationally for its “inclusion” of all learners; it has been the reference for course design; and it has won awards for the impact that it has made.

5. Bank of Montreal and Scotiabank to create and implement the “Talk With Our Kids About Money” program – a program that has helped to initiate hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of conversations with our kids about money to help prepare them for their financial futures. Over 6,000 schools have participated and showcase events have been held with a variety of Ministers at Legislatures across the country to encourage and mobilize efforts to educate our kids about money.

6. A Consortium of States and Provinces to create three video series for schools focusing on basic economic concepts. CFEE and the Joint Council on Economic Education in the U.S. partnered with the Agency for Instructional Television (AIT) to produce (1) “Econ and Me” for children in grades 2-4, (2) “Trade-Offs” for students in grades 4-6, and (3) “Give and Take” for students in grades 7-8. These educational television programs were used extensively throughout Canada and the U.S. – so much so that Trade-Offs in a couple of years was the most used educational television series in the U.S. These programs are now digitized, available online, and used to this very day.

7. Various Indigenous organizations and individuals to produce “The Spirit Lives: Aboriginal Entrepreneurs in Canada” profiling 30 Indigenous entrepreneurs across the country and the contributions that they have made to their communities. Produced by a team of indigenous talent, the series has been used extensively with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth as it so effectively conveys the spirit of helping others in your community.

8. Citizenship and Immigration Canada to produce a “Newcomers to Canada DayPlanner” – the most extensively used and distributed resource CFEE has ever produced rivalling “Money and Youth.” Newcomers arriving in Canada in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal were all provided with a copy upon arrival. It was distributed with the collaboration of over 800 immigrant-serving agencies. It provided a wide-range of useful information related to housing, jobs, education, roles of government – and much more – including most of the information needed to write the Canadian Citizenship test.

9. External Affairs Canada to produce and distribute to schools throughout Canada “Export Canada: Opportunities and Challenges in the World Economy” educating youth about the value of trade to Canada and how trade relates to various nations around the world as our major trading partner.

10. Various Partners to produce the “Issues in the Canadian Economy”. In this series, an important and current topic would be identified and then articles on that topic would be selected from a variety of media sources providing students and teachers with a variety of perspectives on each topic – along with significant background information. A Teacher’s Guide was produced to support teachers in their efforts to bring important topical discussions into their classrooms.

11. Province of Ontario to conduct 40 Workshops for Teachers across the province to introduce teachers to the new “Entrepreneurial Studies Curriculum”, demonstrate teaching strategies, and share resources that are available to support instruction. This helped lead to the very successful introduction of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial studies into schools in Ontario.

12. National Bank to create, promote, and implement the “Help! Managing Your Money on Campus” program. This program entails a series of 8 presentations, with accompanying video supports, to be presented to post-secondary youth at colleges and universities across Canada. Now working with over 40 partnering colleges and universities, the program has engaged over 15,000 students and is averaging over 6,000 additional students each year. The content for the sessions, was develop don the basis of extensive feedback obtained from post-secondary students sharing the key questions that they had and the topics of most interest.

13. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada to develop a “Strategic Plan for Improving Financial Literacy in Canada”. CFEE’s President was a member of the Committee working with the FCAC to help them provide leadership and guidance for Canada on how to improve financial, literacy across the nation.

14. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada to research and develop “Catching the Wave: A Planning Framework for Youth Entrepreneurship in Canada”. As the federal government embarked upon a funding program to encourage and support young entrepreneurs, a training program was required to guide all of the efforts that would take place across Canada to support the goal of encouraging new entrepreneurs. “Catching the Wave” is a research report, and Entrepreneurship Training Framework, that is referenced to this day by those working with youth to encourage and support entrepreneurship.

15. Citizenship and Immigration Canada to create the “Potential to Prosperity” program – a program that helped professionals arriving in Canada to get their credentials assessed and recognized. Various past newcomers were profiled in video sharing their experiences – the positive and the negative. Thee professional organizations shared their procedures for assessing and recognizing credentials. In collaboration with immigrant-serving agencies across Canada, tens of thousands of newcomers drew upon the resources of “Potential to Prosperity” in their efforts to get their credentials recognized.

16. Province of Alberta to design, develop, and implement the “Building Futures in Alberta” program – a program to support teachers in providing financial instruction – and for youth to support learning about money and how to manage their money well – today and in the future. The program provides a “Learning Framework” outlining the key areas of financial knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviours to target for youth to improve financial literacy – along with support resources for both teachers and students – all free and in English and French – as are all CFEE resources.

17. APEC – Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation – to develop the APEC “Guidebook on Financial and Economic Literacy in Basic Education”. This Guide was provided to all member nations to assist them in developing quality financial education programs in their countries. CFEE’s President was a member of the writing team.

18. Asia-Pacific Foundation, Max Bell Foundation, and the Canada Studies Directorate of the Secretary of State to research write, produce and distribute “The Bridges Project” that provided information on the important economic relationships between Canada and nations of the Pacific Rim. The resource was organized into modules and lesson plans was used by teachers in a variety of subject areas across the country.

19. Donner Canadian Foundation, and the Canadian Studies Directorate of the Secretary of State to research, write, produce and distribute “The Canada-U.S. BORDER Project” exploring the various economic and other relationships between Canada and the U.S. including an exploration of similarities and difference. The resource was widely used by teachers on both sides of the border and teacher workshops were conducted to help introduce the resource and its content to teachers to assist with integrating the resource into their instruction.

20. Donner Canadian Foundation to produce and distribute “Eco-Detectives” – an activity-based teaching resource that enables students to explore the ways in which economic concepts and thinking can be applied to environmental issues and problems. Environmental problems are presented and students are challenged to apply economic reasoning to how those problems could be addressed.

21. The Globe and Mail to design, produce, and distribute the “NextGen Edition of The Globe and Mail” (formerly the Classroom Edition) – a continuously updated resource providing selected articles from the Globe relevant to student and teacher interest across a wide range of subject areas. Selected articles have accompanying Lesson Plans for teachers to assist with instruction and to help provide important background information for teachers to enhance the quality of instruction; accompanied by Lesson Plans for teachers for selected articles.

22. Canadian Heritage, Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Energy, J.W. McConnell Foundation, and the Richard Ivey Foundation to produce and distribute “Environomics” a unique teaching kit that explores the many links between the economy and the environment and examines the ways in which the two can function as partners for the future. This was one of the resources, along with Eco-Detectives, that helped to lead the way to more environmental education in the schools and help teachers and students to recognize that business and economic activity, rather than hurting the environment, could actually work to help it.

23. The Province of Manitoba to design, develop, and implement the “Building Futures in Manitoba” program – which focused on helping teachers integrate financial instruction into grades 4 to 10. As with other provinces, a “Learning Framework” was developed along with a “Learning Map” to indicate target integration points, and resources to support instruction. An entirely unique French-language version was also developed using a French-language team.

24. The Province of Ontario to develop the first high school courses in entrepreneurship education – three courses covering “The Entrepreneurial Person”, “Developing an Entrepreneurial Business Plan”, and “Starting an Entrepreneurial Venture”. This was precedent setting and led other provinces to implement such courses to where entrepreneurship courses are now available in all provinces in Canada.

25. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada to create and promote use of the “Building Futures Network” – an online, digitally-based program designed to provide a wide array of resources, tools, and information on saving – and most specifically on how to save for future education and training. It includes the “Building Futures Planning Guide” – a step-by-step guide to saving for education that could be completed in print or online.

26. All of the provinces in Canada to produce the “Entrepreneurship for Canadians: The Spirit of Adventure”, a six-part series profiling 40 entrepreneurs from all across the country engaged in all kinds of entrepreneurial initiatives. The series was developed to support all of the new instruction taking place across the country as entrepreneurship courses were being implemented by teachers never trained in the subject area. CFEE conducted some 100 workshops for teachers across the country to help support implementation. Subsequent research by the federal government found “Entrepreneurship for Canadians” to be far and away the most extensively used resource in Canada supporting youth entrepreneurship instruction. In collaboration with all the provinces, a copy of the series was provided to every high school in Canada along with duplication rights. The outcome has been that hundreds of thousands of youth have been encouraged over the years to assess their interest in, and potential for, being an entrepreneur.

27. The Canadian Bankers Association to produce “Planning for Success” the first CD-ROM developed for schools in Canada with copies provided to all high schools in collaboration with all of the provinces. The program provided an engaging, inter-active learning experience that covered all topics related to entrepreneurship and could guide a young person right through to creating a business plan and starting a business – or applying their entrepreneurial skills to any kind of endeavour.

28. National Bank to develop the “FinLit 101” program – an innovative, self-instruction program for youth to learn how to manage their finances and make good financial decisions. Instruction is provided by videos – animation and live-acted. The program can be used independently by youth, by teachers for training, and as an integrated teaching tool into their classrooms. The program is now integrated into instruction in classes all across Canada and is used by tens of thousands of youth – both in school and out of school.

29. Royal Bank of Canada and Citizenship and Immigration Canada to design, develop, and implement the “Managing Your Money in Canada” program – a program targeting newcomers to Canada to help them with their integration and settlement challenges. In collaboration with immigrant-serving agencies, hundreds of workshops and webinars have been delivered to immigrants all across the country. In addition, the “Managing Your Money in Canada” website provides clear, complete answers to the most common questions that newcomers to Canada have.

30. All of the Curriculum Directors in Canada to convene “Annual Meetings of All the Curriculum Directors” to share information on various provincial activities related to economic, financial, and enterprise education, encourage collaboration, and provide a unique opportunity for Directors to meet, get to know one another, and discuss other curriculum matters and issues of shared interest. These meetings serve as the only times that the Directors are provided with an opportunity to come together to share information and learn from each other.

31. Province of Ontario to completely “Revise the Business Studies Program” for high school students. CFEE led this effort that was the first major revisions undertaken in over 30 years. Some 80 courses, many out of date and behind the times (e.g. short-hand), were converted into 18 new courses covering modern topics including Business Organization, International Business, and Marketing.

32. Scotiabank and Citizenship and Immigration Canada to create and promote use of the “Building Futures in Canada” program – a program designed to address the most important and urgent needs of newcomers as they settled and integrated into their new chosen homeland. The program includes videos of past newcomers sharing their settlement stories – things that helped and challenges they faced. The program is full of information and links that cover topics ranging from the weather in Canada to finding a job to housing to starting a business.

33. The Province of Newfoundland and Labrador to implement the Compulsory Grade 10 Course covering key financial literacy learning for students. CFEE’s “Money and Youth” serves as the primary resource for instruction and, with support from IG Wealth Management, provides a free copy to all students taking the compulsory course.

34. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada to conduct “Research to Assess Financial Literacy Skills as Essential Skills”. The federal government undertakes a variety of activities to support the “essential skills” and they needed research to determine if financial skills should be included within the essential skills. CFEE was contracted to undertake this work for the federal government.

35. RBC to organize and conduct a series of “EconomicsCanada” workshops for teachers across Canada. These workshops helped to train economics teachers and equip them with resources to use in their classrooms with students.

36. Working with the Chair of the Task Force on Financial Literacy to write the letter to the federal Minister of Finance leading to the establishment of November as “Financial Literacy Month in Canada”. CFEE’s President chaired the “Financial Literacy Action Group that led the call for the designation of such a month and CFEE’s President drafted the letter that was sent by the Chair of the Task Force to the Minister of Finance – resulting in the designation of November as Financial Literacy Month in Canada.

37. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health to research the studies around the globe focusing on the “Correlation Between Financial Health and Mental Health”. Thirty-four different studies were identified from around the world, exploring, and confirming, the link between financial stress and negative impacts on mental health. CFEE has shared the results with other across the country to help increase awareness of the important link between financial health and mental health.

38. IG Wealth Management to design, create, and distribute “Money and You: Seniors Edition”. Building on the incredible success of “Money and Youth” this new website covers all of the key financial information that seniors have indicated is of interest and for which they have questions. CFEE determined the content from hundreds of workshops and webinars conducted for seniors across the country. CFEE is now establishing partnerships with some 12 major seniors organizations that will result in CFEE programs and resources having a potential reach of over 2 million seniors. This will include a Monthly Newsletter for Seniors sharing links from a wide array of credible sources to articles of interest to seniors.

39. Scotiabank and Desjardins to develop and promote the “Let’s Talk Money: 55+” program. This unique program focuses on encouraging and supporting important money talks between seniors and their adult children. Many families encounter stress, anxiety, and sometimes divisions as a result of surprises and “the unexpected” upon the death of a parent. Conversations during life can help to ensure families are informed, have opportunities to discuss financial matters, plan, and be well-prepared for the transitions that occur in the latter stages of life.

40. The Just for Laughs Gags organization for produce the “Money Laughs” video series. This is a series of 10 videos, done in the pantomime style of Just For Laughs Gags presenting a variety of financial situations in a fun and engaging style. The videos run about a minute and a half and conclude with a series of valuable tips associated with the topic covered in the video. The series is now used all across Canada to bring come levity to financial instruction and to engage student interest to set the stage for instruction.

41. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada to create the “Career Circuit Network” program to help Canadians youth with their efforts to plan and pursue their career interests. The program included a detailed database of all of the sources and resources that help young people explore, and plan for, a wide variety of careers. The program included resources to support the development of financial literacy knowledge and skills.

42. The program Statistics Canada to produce and distribute the workbook “Economic Statistics: A Workbook” – a resource that explained the major statistics that Canadians hear about – e.g. CPI, Unemployment Rate, etc. – including how they are calculated, how they are used, etc. Activities help the user work through calculations to better understand the make-up of each of the statistics and the key information that they can convey about the economy.

43. The Learning Partnership to produce and distribute the resource materials to support the implementation of “The Entrepreneur Adventure” program in Ontario grade 9 classes. The resource supported instruction and helped students assess their own interest in entrepreneurship as a possible career pathway.

44. CIBC to design, develop, and implement the “My Money, My Future” program for schools across Canada. This program encouraged youth to create a new, innovative reso0urce to help other youth learn about money. The program was run as a competition and inspired a wide array of new youth-developed resources that were made available on the program’s website and used by teachers and youth across the country.

45. TD Bank to conduct research and report on the “State of Financial Education in Canada”. To help guide and focus their support for new financial education initiatives, TD contracted CFEE to undertake research, and report on, the “State of Financial Education in Canada” and to identify and prioritize the greatest needs.

46. The International Economic Forum of the Americas to create and conduct the Toronto Global Forum. This annual Forum, now in its 16th year, was founded in Toronto with the help of CFEE and was modeled after the original Forum in Montreal. The Forum now attracts prestigious speakers from around the world and more than 6,000 attendees each year. It is now considered one of the leading conferences to take place in the city of Toronto and is supported by the city, the province, the federal government, and numerous private sector partners.

47. Citizenship and Immigration Canada to design, develop, and implement the “VECTOR” program. This program entailed the production of 185 5-6 minute videos profiling Canadians engaged in a vast array of careers. The videos were filmed by youth graduating from film schools across the country and VECTOR became one of the most used resources in Canada supporting Career Education.

48. Canada Education Savings Program to produce a “Building Futures Planning Guide” – a workbook/guidebook to help youth and their parents/guardians work out a plan to save for future education. The Guide includes information on a wide range of funding sources and strategies and enables goals to be set and a plan to be put in place to achieve those goals.

49. Province of Ontario to produce 30 vignettes, both in English and French, to create the “Building Futures in Ontario” website that will challenge Ontario students in the compulsory courses of Grade 9 Math and Grade 10 Career Development, to apply what they have learned using “Money and Youth” and “FinLit 101” to a wide variety of situations and circumstances. Students are challenged by these open-ended videos to answer the questions – what would you do, what would you advise, and/or what would you decide evolving their learning from knowledge and skills to application.

50. Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association to produce and distribute “Sunshine Sketches of a Little Economics” – a series of articles by the late Charles R. Graham to make the various “economic theories and principles” interesting and understandable. The author had a unique and engaging writing style that made the world of economic interesting – and relatable – to all.

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