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FE and Our Partners are Championing Change for Canadians

Published: February 15, 2024

Financial Empowerment at FSGV and Prosper Canada have been in partnership for nearly a decade. During this period, our partnership has grown and together with four other Canadian agencies we’ve been able to help 1 million low-income individuals to build their financial health. Despite all we’ve managed to do and the lives we’ve changed – the need for financial literacy and support remains stronger than ever. Financial Empowerment programming helps people learn to budget, navigate banking and credit systems, build an emergency fund, set financial goals, files taxes, and access benefits. These are the kinds of skills that create long-term, positive change for our clients.

Last week, a group of Financial Empowerment Champions (FECs) met in Ottawa to lobby for a funding proposal submitted by Prosper Canada for five years of sustained funding for financial help services. The meetings with MPs, Policy Advisors, and Directors were intended to drive home one point: the most vulnerable members of our society need sustained, ongoing support. Of course, occasional government bonus cheques and income top-ups give short-term relief, but without ongoing support people will continue to struggle. As FECs, we shared stores of success from clients across the country. The last decade of work between Prosper Canada and the FECs have shown: financial literacy empowers people to make positive change in their lives.

The current, precarious economic climate has made this the prime time to capture the government’s attention. Reception has been very positive, and many politicians and policy advisors seem to be gaining an understanding of the true struggles that Canadians face when it comes to their finances. Our goal is to get a pledge for long-term funding so that we can expand services. With the proposed funding, FECs across the country would be able to help 1.5 million low- and modest-income Canadians. At FSGV, it means we could reach more people across the Lower Mainland and beyond, looking to rural, remote, and Indigenous communities through coaching and front-line trainings.

We all see people making tents their homes, parents stressing as to how they can provide food and clothing for their family, and individuals trying to dig out of deep piles of high interest debt; the fact is, as a nation, we can do a lot more to give a helping hand to those struggling. This is exactly what we’re championing.