Make Change that Counts: National Financial Literacy Strategy 2021-2026

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s (FCAC’s) mandate is to protect Canadian financial consumers and strengthen financial literacy. 

The National Strategy is a 5-year plan to create a more accessible, inclusive, and effective financial ecosystem that supports diverse Canadians in meaningful ways. The National Strategy is focused on how financial literacy stakeholders can reduce barriers, catalyze action, and work together, to collectively help Canadians build financial resilience.



Early Planning Toolkit

A toolkit for parents/caregivers with a child with a disability ages 2 to 10, containing:

  • An everyday childhood action guide
  • Early planning priorities for parents with a child with a disability (upcoming webcast)
  • Accessing financial resources for a young child with a disability (upcoming webcast)
  • Early planning checklist



Innovations in Financial Capability: Culturally Responsive & Multigenerational Wealth Building Practices in Asian Pacific Islander (API) Communities

The Innovations in Financial Capability report is a collaborative report by National CAPACD and the Institute of Assets and Social Policy (IASP) at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management, in partnership with Hawaiian Community Assets (HCA), and the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA). This survey report builds upon the 2017 report Foundations for the Future: Empowerment Economics in the Native Hawaiian Context and features the financial capability work of over 40 of our member organizations and other AAPI serving organizations from across the US. IASP’s research found that AAPI leaders are adopting innovative multigenerational and culturally responsive approaches to financial capability programming, but they want and need more supports for their work.



From Relief to Resilience: Reimagining Investments

The events of 2020 revealed unvarnished truths that demand that philanthropic organizations take action to build economic well-being for all. This long-overdue moment emphasizes the critical need for strategies that provide a range of support to women and Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and Asian people, who are struggling due to deep financial disparities. Today’s disparities are built on, and exacerbated by, long-standing inequities created by structural racism, sexism, and classism, which have limited financial security and overall well-being for those affected. This brief responds to the urgency of this moment, reimagining and building on past recommendations to map more just paths to economic resilience moving forward.



Intersectionality and Economic Justice

Widespread financial precarity for women of color with disabilities existed before the pandemic. Rooted in existing systemic inequities, COVID worsened the situation and created new access barriers.  Race, gender, and disability impact financial stability in complex ways.  Having a disability may increase living costs and limit economic opportunities.  At the same time, women of color face significant disparities in education, income, employment, financial services, and wealth.  Faced with institutional barriers that limit earning and wealth building, disabled women of color are more likely to be unbanked, use alternative financial services, have medical debt, lack access to affordable health care, and experience food insecurity.  Given these challenges and the dire need to address them, this webinar explored:

  • What immediate changes are needed to help increase the financial stability of disabled women of color?
  • What can we do on-the-ground and systemically to better include disabled women of color and move toward intersectional economic justice?



Study: A labour market snapshot of Black Canadians during the pandemic

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Canadians, including Black Canadians, have experienced significant economic hardship, while others put themselves at risk through their work in essential industries such as health care and social assistance.

Statistics Canada looked at how the 1 million Black Canadians aged 15 to 69 are faring in the labour market during one of the most disruptive times in our economic history. Analysis of the recent labour market situation of population groups designated as visible minorities is now possible as a result of a new question added to the Labour Force Survey (LFS) in July 2020.

Unless otherwise stated, all data in this release are unadjusted for seasonality and are based on three-month averages ending in January 2021.



Taking Stock and Looking Ahead: The Impact of COVID-19 on Communities of Color

Nearly a year since the outbreak began, and eight months since it was declared a global pandemic, COVID-19 has devastated hundreds of thousands of lives and millions of people’s economic prospects throughout the country. To date, the effects of this crisis have been wide-reaching and profound, impacting every individual and sector throughout the U.S.

For communities of color, however, the pandemic has been particularly damaging as these communities have not only been more likely to contract and succumb to the virus, but also more likely to bear the brunt of the many economic impacts that have come from it—including more likely to be unemployed and slower to regain jobs lost.

The Asset Building Policy Network and a panel of experts discuss the impact COVID-19 has had on communities of color, the fiscal policy measures congress has enacted to curtail those impacts and what can be done through policy and programs to foster an equitable recovery and more inclusive economy moving forward.



Strengthening the Economic Foundation for Youth and Young Adults During COVID & Beyond

The unemployment rate for young workers ages 16–24 jumped from 8.4% to 24.4% from spring 2019 to spring 2020 in the United States, representing four million youth. While unemployment for their counterparts ages 25 and older rose from 2.8% to 11.3% the Spring 2020 unemployment rates were even higher for young Black, Hispanic, and Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) workers (29.6%, 27.5%, and 29.7%, respectively. 

The following speakers discuss how to build financial security for youth (16-24) in this webinar: Monique Miles, Aspen Institute, Forum for Community Solutions, Margaret Libby, My Path, Amadeos Oyagata, Youth Leader, and Don Baylor, The Annie E. Casey Foundation (moderator).



Launch of the OECD/INFE 2020 International Survey of Adult Financial Literacy

This report provides measures of financial inclusion including elements of financial resilience and a newly-created score on financial well-being.

Twenty-six countries and economies, including 12 OECD countries, participated in this international survey of financial literacy, using the 2018 OECD/INFE toolkit to collect cross-comparable data. The survey results report the overall financial literacy scores, as computed following the OECD/INFE methodology and definition, and their elements of knowledge, behaviour, and attitudes.

The data used in this report are drawn from national surveys undertaken using and submitted to the OECD as part of a co-ordinated measurement exercise; as well as data gathered as part of the OECD/INFE Technical Assistance Project for Financial Education in South East Europe.



Report on Income and Canadian Financial Consumer Complaints

This report explores the financial services complaint experiences of Canadians at various income levels who used the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI)’s service. The national, not-for-profit organization collected demographic and case data for almost 1,000 closed cases resolved between 2017 to 2019 to create the report. These cases were grouped into three categories:

  • lower-income households (under $60,000);
  • middle-income households ($60,000 to $100,000); and
  • higher-income households (over $100,000).

Key findings include:

  • Lower-income households represent almost 40% of OBSI cases. Lower-income consumers of financial services need and make use of OBSI as an accessible alternative to the legal system.
  • Nearly one-third (30%) of employed complainants live in lower- or middle-income households. Canadians experience economic barriers to accessing legal services regardless of their employment status.
  • Most lower-income complainants are over 60, while most higher-income complainants are under 50. Older Canadians have a particular need for accessible dispute resolution.



A Feminist Economic Recovery Plan for Canada: Making the Economy Work for Everyone

This report offers an intersectional perspective on how Canada can recover from the COVID-19 crisis and weather difficult times in the future, while ensuring the needs of all people in Canada are considered in the formation of policy.
YWCA Canada and the University of Toronto’s Institute for Gender and the Economy (GATE) offer this joint assessment to highlight the important principles that all levels of government should consider as they develop and implement policies to spur post-pandemic recovery.



From the Margins to Center: Responding to COVID-19 with an Equity and Gender Lens

On June 30th, AFN presented an Expert Insights briefing on what it takes to center women of color in the relief, recovery, and rebuild plans for the current health and economic crisis and beyond.

The speaker is Dominique Derbigny, deputy director of Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap (CWWG) and author of the report, On the Margins: Economic Security for Women of Color through the Coronavirus Crisis and Beyond.

Learn why women of color are suffering severely from the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis, opportunities to advance gender economic equity in near-term recovery efforts, and possible strategies to prevent wealth extraction and foster long-term economic security for women of color.



Imagine Canada pre-budget consultation toolkit

The House of Commons Finance Committee recently released its call for pre-budget consultation briefs as the government considers its policy priorities for the 2021 federal budget.

This toolkit created by Imagine Canada provides information on the reasons to submit a pre-budget consultation brief as well as tips on how to do so.



Defining disability for social assistance in Ontario: Options for moving forward

Narrowing the definition of disability used by the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) could have serious implications. Improving the program’s assessment process would yield better results for applicants, Ontario's social safety net, and the government.

This report explores the role of ODSP, the risks of narrowing the definition of disability, models of disability assessment from other jurisdictions, and alternative ways that the government could reform the program. Most importantly, the paper recommends that the Ministry focus on improving ODSP’s initial application process. A simplified assessment system would save time and money for applicants, medical professionals, legal clinics, adjudicators, and the Social Benefits Tribunal. These savings should be reinvested back into social assistance.



Supporting Financial Health Fintechs in Canada: Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities

Technology can play a key role in addressing some of the financial challenges that Canadians face on a day-to-day basis. Over the last five to ten years we have seen a growing number of companies, called fintechs, that primarily use technology to change and enhance the way we do banking or access financial advice and services. Many of these companies are building products that are specifically meant to help Canadians improve their financial health.

The purpose of this report is to explore the existing financial health fintech landscape in Canada, the challenges that these companies face, and how an accelerator program that provides mentorship and resource supports over a defined time-frame can better help these financial health fintechs grow and thereby help improve the financial health of people across Canada.



Ageing and Financial Inclusion: 8 key steps to design a better future

The G20 Fukuoka Policy Priorities for Ageing and Financial Inclusion is jointly prepared by the GPFI and the OECD. The document identifies eight priorities to help policy makers, financial service providers, consumers and other actors in the real economy to identify and address the challenges associated with ageing populations and the global increase in longevity. They reflect policies and practices to improve the outcomes of both current generations of older people and future generations.



Registered Disability Savings Plans (RDSPs) and Financial Empowerment

This policy brief discusses issues surrounding access to Registered Disability Savings Plans (RDSPs) in the province of Alberta and recommended solutions for increasing RDSP uptake. With the Government of Alberta's commitment to improving financial independence for people in the province, suggestions are provided on how to link the government RDSP strategy with financial empowerment collaboratives and champions existing in the province to maximize effectiveness and efficiency.



Investor Protection Clinic and Living Lab: 2019 Annual Report

The Investor Protection Clinic, the first clinic of its kind in Canada, provides free legal advice to people who believe their investments were mishandled and who cannot afford a lawyer. The Clinic was founded together with the Canadian Foundation for Advancement of Investor Rights (FAIR Canada), an organization that aims to enhance the rights of Canadian shareholders and individual investors.

The 2019 Annual Report summarizes the work of The Clinic, including description of the work and types of cases, example case scenarios of the clients who benefited from The Clinic's services,  client data and demographics, and recommendations. 



The shared path: First Nations financial wellness

Prosper Canada and AFOA Canada are pleased to collaboratively tell the story of The Shared Path: First Nations Financial Wellness. This work was undertaken in the spirit of reconciliation between Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous people in Canada and creating a more equitable and inclusive society by closing the gaps in social, health, and economic outcomes that exist between us.

This report defines financial wellness in the context of First Nations Peoples and communities, reviews why it matters, provides a conceptual framework to help clarify the determinants of financial wellness, and identifies barriers, needs, best practices and principles for building the financial wellness of Indigenous individuals, families, and communities together.