Letter to the Editor – Ursula Menke FCAC Commissioner of Canada on Back To School 2012

To the editor:

As a former high school teacher, the beginning of September always meant back-to-school.

For students, it’s a time for many new things at school.  It can also be a time for new experiences: becoming more independent, going to a different school or moving out on their own.

Now, as a parent of two-grown children, I am looking at the back-to-school season differently, reflecting on what I might have done to help them better prepare for school.

I realize now that back-to-school is the perfect time to have a frank conversation with children about the importance of managing their personal finances, especially if they are moving out on their own for the first time.

The Agency I lead, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), was established in 2001 to help Canadian consumers gain a better understanding of financial products and services such as credit cards, bank accounts, mortgages and investments.  Since that time, FCAC has become a pioneer in creating clear, simple publications and easy-to-use web tools that give consumers objective, reliable help when they make financial decisions.

The Government of Canada has given FCAC the mandate to foster financial literacy. The Agency continues to develop innovative resources for students and all Canadians to help them strengthen their knowledge, skills and confidence to make responsible financial decisions. They are available at itpaystoknow.gc.ca.

Our commitment to Canada’s youth is to give them the tools they need to increase their ability to understand, analyze and navigate the financial marketplace with confidence not only for the new school year, but also for the rest of their lives.

Ursula Menke

FCAC Commissioner

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  1. Yet another example of a university grad who can’t write. And before I’m accused of being hyper critical, think about it. Our tax dollars pay for her salary and this government initiative. Yet, there isn’t one compelling argument to make the case for financial literacy as an urgent priority, what group is best-suited, or why parents should be motivated to seek help.

    In addition, lots of CFN readers have stated views about the importance of merit v. bilingualism. Well here’s living proof. The letter writer is probably bilingual if she works for the feds. But she fails to write anything more than a few polite sentences. Is she capable of heading up this mandate?

    I am so tempted to forward her letter to Mr. Harper.

  2. This group has been around since 2001 when a federal Act was put in place, but I never heard of them. The mandate seems to be alot of monitoring of other Acts already in place and promoting what they do to those listed in other Acts.

    I would have to look further of course, but am not sold yet this service is needed.

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