Literacy is For Life: Strengthening Adult Literacy is Key to Canada's Economic and Social Prosperity (2001)

Submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance

Canada's economic and social prosperity depends on the strengths and skills of our citizens. To prosper in the new economy, we must develop policies that nurture these skills and we must create a culture that values life-long learning. A sound literacy foundation is key to achieving both of these goals. Addressing adult literacy is an urgent issue for national productivity as Canada faces a shortage of skilled workers now and in the coming years.
Now more than ever, good literacy skills are a prerequisite for employment and for the specific training decent jobs require. In addition, addressing literacy barriers is key to dealing with the most pressing issues of our time. Research shows that improved literacy pays off not only in labour market productivity, but also in lower healthcare costs, better outcomes for children, safer and more cohesive communities, more successful rehabilitation of offenders, and better integration of newcomers. Yet, in Canada we face serious literacy challenges. 22% of Canadian adults do not read well, and another 26% do not have the literacy skills necessary to contribute to the economic and social development of their communities and our country.

In the 2001 Speech from the Throne, the federal government recognized our literacy challenges, and promised to work with the provinces and territories and the voluntary sector to "launch" a "national literacy initiative, as part of a comprehensive Skills and Learning Agenda. Over the past months, the consultative, research and policy development phase of the Skills and Learning Agenda has been progressing. However, as of this date no substantial commitment a National Literacy Initiative has been made.

In this brief, MCL makes the case for creating a spending envelope in the next federal budget dedicated to the development of a National Literacy Strategy, as part of a comprehensive Skills and Learning Initiative. For more information : MCL, Suite 300 - 180 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa ON K2P 1P5, Tel. (613) 563-2464, Fax (613) 563-2504, Email: mcl@literacy.ca
http://www.literacy.ca

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2002-08-01
APA citation
. Literacy is For Life: Strengthening Adult Literacy is Key to Canada's Economic and Social Prosperity 2001. Web. 29 Feb. 2020 <http://en.copian.ca/library/research/mcl/submiss/submis.pdf>
(2001). Literacy is For Life: Strengthening Adult Literacy is Key to Canada's Economic and Social Prosperity. Retrieved February 29, 2020, from http://en.copian.ca/library/research/mcl/submiss/submis.pdf
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