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Ottawa takes timid steps forward on financial literacy

Never before have so many Canadians been exposed to so much expert financial advice. Yet rarely have so many households been swamped with so much debt.

That, in brief, is the challenge facing the federal government as it struggles to prepare Canadians for a world of ever more complicated financial products. Its move, announced Tuesday, to ensure that low income Canadians have access to no-cost bank accounts, is easy to applaud. So is its appointment last month of Canada’s first Financial Literacy Leader. The problem is that these and other strategies to turn us into a nation of informed consumers still fall far short of what is needed.