Opening remarks by Judith Robertson, Commissioner, Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, Launch of Financial Literacy Month, November 1, 2021

Opening remarks by Judith Robertson, Commissioner, Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, Launch of Financial Literacy Month, November 1, 2021

Good afternoon.

I’m Judith Robertson, the Commissioner of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.

I’m delighted to be with you to launch the 2021 edition of Financial Literacy Month.

Let me begin by acknowledging that I am speaking to you here in the National Capital Region from the traditional, unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg People.

We also respectfully acknowledge the ancestral territory of all the First Nations people, Inuit and Métis with whom we share this land from coast to coast to coast.

I’d like to extend a warm welcome to our valued stakeholders, special guests, and industry representatives from across the country.

And I would also like to welcome the members of the public and the media who are in attendance.

Last year we celebrated the 10th anniversary of Financial Literacy Month.

This year’s edition is equally important and exciting.

We have a great event planned for you today to start the 11th annual Financial Literacy Month.

We have assembled a terrific line up of presentations, including our special guests Gary Rabbior, President of the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education and Bruce Sellery, the CEO of Credit Canada.

As many of you know, the mandate of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada —or FCAC— is to protect financial consumers.

Just last week, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada celebrated its 20th anniversary.

The Agency and its mandate have grown and strengthened over the last 20 years, but our focus has always been on protecting and supporting financial consumers through our supervision of federally regulated institutions and through our research and education efforts.

Strengthening the financial literacy of Canadians is essential to protecting financial consumers, and these events in November are an important way to raise awareness.

FCAC has chosen Make change that counts! as the theme for Financial Literacy Month.

The theme aligns with FCAC’s National Financial Literacy Strategy that we renewed and launched earlier this year.

Our new National Strategy supports a vision where Canadians can build financial resilience in an increasingly digital world and creates a framework for us to work together to make the financial ecosystem more accessible, inclusive, and effective for all Canadians.

Financial Literacy Month provides an opportunity to advance the priorities of the National Strategy and highlights the importance of building financial resilience, especially in these challenging times.

You will hear more about this ambitious new National Strategy in a few minutes from Dr. Supriya Syal, Deputy Commissioner, Research, Policy and Education.

The financial market is evolving rapidly, as well as the needs and expectations of financial consumers.

There is no doubt that new technologies create both opportunities and risks for consumers, but the rapid pace of change also creates a challenge for some Canadians.

Adapting to this new world may be easy for many people, but can also be a significant hurdle for those without digital access or those who are not comfortable with digital services.

As we move forward, we must adapt our efforts to strengthen financial literacy to reflect the new challenges that Canadians face in a complex and increasingly digital financial world, and as we emerge from the pandemic.

These challenges are exactly what FCAC’s renewed National Financial Literacy Strategy aims to address.

I am excited about our opportunities to produce better outcomes for consumers as we work together.

I hope you agree that this is an exciting time to be part of the financial literacy community.

Today and every day, we are grateful for our vast and varied community of stakeholders, including the 18 financial literacy networks, the financial industry, and our government partners, for the work they do to strengthen the financial literacy of Canadians.

Financial Literacy Month is a great time to celebrate and promote the important work that we all do.

And I encourage all Canadians to take some time this month to learn more about how they can improve their financial resilience.

Together, let’s make change that counts!

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