The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) has released a renewed National Financial Literacy Strategy. The five-year plan aims to help Canadians build financial resilience. 

The strategy builds on FCAC's first national financial literacy strategy released in 2015. FCAC said in a July 14 statement that the strategy “reflects the economic impact of the pandemic on many Canadians, the diverse needs of consumers, especially the most vulnerable, and the evolving expectations of Canadians in an increasingly digital financial marketplace.”

The strategy identifies three areas of focus. The first is to reduce barriers that prevent people from accessing, understanding, and using appropriate financial products, services, and information. Priorities include communicating in ways people understand, building and providing for diverse needs, and supporting increased digital access and literacy, says FCAC. 

The second focus area is to catalyze action to help Canadians achieve positive financial outcomes and addressing biases and misunderstandings. Priorities include improving access to trustworthy and affordable financial help, using behavioural design to simplify financial decisions, and strengthening consumer protections. 

The strategy’s third focus area is to help Canadians develop the skills, capacity, and behaviours that are the consumer building blocks to financial resilience. These building blocks include the skills to navigate the financial marketplace, just in time knowledge, and managing expenses, debt, and savings. 

FCAC says in the coming months it will continue to engage with stakeholders to establish measures of success and identify initiatives that will help Canadians build financial resilience. 

"As we emerge from the pandemic, the National Financial Literacy Strategy will generate positive change to enable Canadians to build greater financial resilience,” stated Mona Fortier, the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity, and Associate Minister of Finance. “The global pandemic has caused an economic shock affecting all Canadians, but has had a disproportionate impact on our most vulnerable populations, including women, youth, low-wage workers and BIPOC.”