Financial Literacy Leader Act (Bill C-28)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I see nothing objectionable in Bill C-28. We need greater financial literacy among Canadians.


I wonder if the bill has been costed. We are considering creating a new office within the federal government. I imagine the bill speaks to the expense accounts of that office and someone with the title financial literacy leader.

Have we examined as a House whether the goals of the bill could be better accomplished through sufficient support to groups like the Consumers’ Association of Canada or Democracy Watch? They have done a lot of good work in making Canadians aware of their banking processes.

Kevin Lamoureux: Mr. Speaker, the government has not provided Parliament with a plan regarding Bill C-28. We do not know how much it is going to cost. In regard to the financial literacy leader, we need to know what sort of resources the government is prepared to allocate to the position.

As my NDP colleague mentioned, we have to be excused for not just buying into everything that the government is trying to sell with this legislation. It is one thing to say here is a bill but it is another thing to put some teeth in it. We are not convinced that there is a solid commitment to having a well financed office that would produce the desired outcome. We recognize how critically important the issue of financial literacy is. It is an important file. Young people need to be more involved in the financial environment. The benefits far outweigh any sort of potential costs that might be incurred in making sure that we do it right and that the federal government plays a leadership role.