SOURCE: ABC Life Literacy Canada

ABC Life Literacy Canada

January 26, 2016 10:00 ET

ABC Life Literacy Canada Urges the Federal Government to Invest in Literacy and Essential Skills

As Part of the Pre-Budget Consultation Process, ABC Life Literacy Canada Submitted Four Recommendations to the Government of Canada to Support Canada's Adult Literacy and Essential Skills Sector

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - January 26, 2016) - ABC Life Literacy Canada (ABC) is calling on the federal government to invest in Canada's literacy and essential skills sector, as part of the 2016/17 pre-budget consultation process, currently being conducted by Minister Morneau on behalf of the Government of Canada.

Low literacy rates impact every aspect of life including the health, finances, and employability of Canadians. Canada continues to fall behind globally, impacting our social resilience and economic productivity. For Canada and Canadians to thrive, we must move from mediocre to outstanding in our literacy and essential skills proficiency.

"Today, there are too many Canadians who do not have the literacy skills they need to adequately cope with the demands of their personal and professional lives," says Gillian Mason, President, ABC Life Literacy Canada. "The need for Canadians to improve their literacy and essential skills is critical. The federal government must work in collaboration with the provinces and territories, private sector partners and non-profits organizations to create a framework for new infrastructure investment to support lifelong learning and adult literacy initiatives across Canada."

To support the important work being done to address this national issue, investment in infrastructure for the literacy and essential skills sector is urgently needed. ABC submitted the following four (4) recommendations to the Government of Canada to support Canada's adult literacy and essential skills sector.

Pre-Budget 2016/17 Recommendations:

1. Develop incentives for employers to invest in literacy and essential skills training

Employers understand the need for a highly skilled workforce. They can see the benefit of employee development, commitment and retention, but few see the training solution that literacy and essential skills training can provide. ABC urges the Government of Canada ensure that all spending and tax expenditure measures targeting employers are designed to support skills training and include incentives for the improvement of literacy and essential skills training for employees.

2. Invest in infrastructure to strength the literacy and essential skills sector

Lifelong learning and literacy must become a Canada-wide priority to both enhance Canada's standard of livening and economic competitiveness in the years ahead, because these skills are vital to ensuring employability, financial security, health, and well-being. ABC urges the Government of Canada to improve funding delivery mechanisms to support the non-profit sector to achieve accountability, while at the same time providing adequate, predictable, and stable funding.

3. Sustain investments in financial literacy education

ABC applauds the measures the Government of Canada is taking to improve the financial literacy skills of all Canadians. Canada's National Strategy for Financial Literacy, Count me in, Canada, the appointment of Jane Rooney as the Financial Literacy Leader, and the National Steering Committee on Financial Literacy are positive steps to help Canadians acquire the skills they need to successfully manage their financial affairs.

4. Restore the Labour Market Development Agreements

It's critical that the Government of Canada act on its pledge to restore the Labour Market Development Agreements and increase the contribution amount to $775 million. The Liberal Party platform also pledged a $200 million increase in annual federal funding to be delivered by the provinces and territories to help Canadians outside the labour market receive the basic literacy and essential skills they need to find gainful employment. This included focusing on priority areas, such as investment in literacy and essential skills programs for Indigenous communities and other vulnerable Canadians in populations disproportionately affected.

ABC looks forward to working with the Government of Canada to find real solutions to help Canadians improve their literacy and essential skills. For more information about ABC Life Literacy Canada, please visit:

About ABC Life Literacy Canada:

ABC Life Literacy Canada is a non-profit organization that inspires Canadians to increase their literacy skills. We mobilize business, government and communities to support lifelong learning and achieve our goals through leadership in programs, communications and partnerships. ABC Life Literacy Canada envisions a Canada where everyone has the skills they need to live a fully engaged life. For the latest news and information on adult literacy please visit, follow us on Twitter or join our Facebook page.

Contact Information

  • For more media information, please contact:
    Stephanie Wells
    Manager, Communications
    ABC Life Literacy Canada
    1-800-303-1004 ext. 122