Ontario Investing in Improving Financial Literacy
Successful Education Initiative to Support Low-Income Individuals
Ontario is helping people living on low incomes to build their financial literacy skills by partnering with Prosper Canada to provide financial education services in communities across Ontario, including two new programs in Ottawa and Kitchener-Waterloo.
As part of the province's two-year, $1.5 million investment in Prosper Canada, the Financial Empowerment and Problem Solving (FEPS) program will now be offered to approximately 1,500 clients at the EBO Financial Education Centre in Ottawa and the Working Centre in Kitchener-Waterloo this year.
The FEPS program improves the financial security of people living on low incomes by providing individualized problem-solving, financial literacy workshops and tax clinics around tax season. Prosper Canada is a national charity working to expand economic opportunities for Canadians living in poverty. Since 2015, Prosper Canada has partnered with three local agencies in Toronto to deliver FEPS. The program is currently helping more than 5,000 clients in Toronto to better understand and manage their financial situation.
As announced in the 2016 Budget, the province is also investing $1 million annually over the next five years to partner with Prosper Canada to expand financial empowerment programs to more communities across Ontario.
Building financial literacy skills is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.
- EBO Financial Education Centre and The Working Centre will each receive $150,000 this year, through the Ministry’s investment with Prosper Canada.
- This additional funding is an expansion of the FEPS program offered in Toronto through West Neighbourhood House, Agincourt Community Services Association and Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre.
- Read about Ontario’s 2016 Budget
“Helping people in Ontario with low incomes gain better financial literacy skills, such as learning how to manage debt, access banking services and build assets, can help them improve their financial security. I am pleased that our government is collaborating with Prosper Canada and local FEPS partners to provide these services.”
Dr. Helena Jaczek
“I am proud that our government is supporting communities like my riding of Ottawa-Vanier by helping to financially empower low-income people. Providing people with financial literacy skills will enable them to move from financial crisis to financial planning and action.”
“The support from the Government of Ontario and Prosper Canada provided to the EBO Financial Education Centre for the FEPS program is a significant contribution to the work our organization does with the socio-economically vulnerable population of Ottawa. Funding for the FEPS program will allow us to finally realize one of our long-standing objectives, which is to reach families and individuals on low incomes.”
“Evidence tells us that people living in poverty face particular barriers to financial inclusion and wellbeing. The FEPS Program is a vital support that removes these barriers to enable families to build a stronger financial future. The investment by the Ontario government will strengthen the program and allow more Ontarians on low incomes to access these critical supports.”