Towards a Fully Literate Canada (2005)

Achieving National Goals through a Comprehensive Pan-Canadian Literacy Strategy

“Towards a Fully Literate Canada” is the title that the Advisory Committee has adopted for its Report. This title expresses in clear language the Committee's primary recommendation. The Government of Canada, in full partnership with the provinces and territories, should commit itself to the goal of a fully literate country by adopting, implementing and promoting a comprehensive Pan-Canadian Literacy Strategy.

This paper makes the case that strong and focussed leadership is required to meet Canada's literacy challenges. Only bold action will serve the social, economic, cultural and political interests of every person who lives in our country, regardless of their circumstances.

Canadian governments know that a society that is literate and engaged reaps social and economic benefits that enrich individuals, families and communities as well as the economy upon which their prosperity depends. Literacy opens the door to increased productivity.

But ours is not a fully literate country. While we presently enjoy the rewards of an advanced knowledge-based society and economy, both of these pillars rest on a weak foundation.

On November 9th 2005, Statistics Canada reported the initial results of the International Literacy and Life Skills Survey (IALLS), the Canadian results from the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (ALLS) released by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in May 2005. Statistics Canada reported that almost 9 million Canadian adults aged 16 to 65, or 42% of the working age population, have literacy skills that are below the level required to function effectively in a knowledge-based economy and society.

The proportion of the working aged adult population with low literacy skills remains exactly as it was in 1994.

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APA citation
The Advisory Committee on Literacy and Essential Skills. Towards a Fully Literate Canada 2005. Web. 5 Oct. 2022 <>
The Advisory Committee on Literacy and Essential Skills (2005). Towards a Fully Literate Canada. Retrieved October 5, 2022, from
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