The task force, appointed in June 2009, held hearings across Canada in 2010 and put out a report on what it heard.
Then, everything went quiet.
What took so long? We’ll find out tomorrow when the task force chair, Donald Stewart of Sun Life, talks to the media about the final report. I’m on the list at 11 a.m.
The federal Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty, will likely announce something, too, coming out of the task force’s work.
I have no idea what’s in the report, but I can make a few guesses.
One, the task force will recommend more access to financial information. But will it address the question of demand? There’s lots of information available, but many people don’t engage with it.
Two, the task force will press for more personal finance education in schools, perhaps as young as kindergarten. But education is a provincial role, so the federal government can’t do much except cheer on the sidelines.
Three, the task force will NOT address conflicts of interest. Bankers, investment dealers and insurance brokers promote what’s in their own interests, not what’s in the customer’s interest. From what I could tell, industry conflicts weren’t part of the mandate.
I wish the financial literacy task force hadn’t disappeared and shut down its social media campaign on Twitter and Facebook. It would have been nice to keep the conversation going while waiting to see what comes out of this exercise.
I’ll check in later when I know more about the final report and the finance minister’s reaction.