The Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE) is very pleased to hear of the formation of the Ontario Intragovernmental Committee on Financial Literacy (ICFL) to improve collaboration and dialogue among government ministries and agencies to improve financial literacy in the province. Ontario is a leader in efforts to improve financial literacy and is to be commended for its commitment to improving the financial health of Ontarians. This Committee will help to ensure the province’s leadership position continues. Financial literacy impacts the lives of so many Ontarians in many ways and creates challenges when lacking, opportunities when improved. This is even more true in the times of a global pandemic which has upended our financial lives in so many ways, creating so much uncertainty and anxiety.
Compounding the financial realities and impact is the growing volume of research that is showing a strong correlation between financial health and well-being and mental health and well-being. Efforts to improve financial literacy can therefore help Ontarians build a healthy financial future at the same time as it can lead to improved mental health as we help Ontarians reduce levels of financial stress that can then lead to mental health challenges.
The Committee’s efforts will be able to help address the financial literacy needs of seniors, newcomers to Ontario, those who are economically disadvantaged, and will be particularly welcomed by parents and educators who recognize the importance of instilling financial knowledge and capability in our children starting at young ages – and continuing over the course of the important developmental years while being supported both in school and at home.
CFEE is also pleased to hear that the Committee will be chaired by Tyler Fleming, Director of the Investor Office of the OSC. CFEE has worked with the Investor Office and its highly capable team over many years on efforts to improve financial education and capability for various target groups – but especially our youth. CFEE knows the Committee will be in very capable hands and the experience acquired by Tyler and his team will be able to provide sound guidance for this important collaboration. CFEE looks forward to lending its support to the Committee in any way it can to help it achieve its important goal.