The Financial Empowerment Committee is committed to exploring possibilities to address local challenges and issues around financial security for citizens experiencing poverty in Central Alberta. Through financial empowerment our goal is to improve financial outcomes for low income households and families.
It is a poverty reduction strategy to improve the financial security for low-income households. Barriers such as lack of access to relevant, quality financial advice and predatory fringe financial services that target low-income consumers prevent many low-income people from achieving financial stability and the assets they need to pursue prosperity and escape poverty.
Why is financial empowerment and economic security important for poverty reduction?
Proven financial empowerment strategies and interventions aimed at helping households to build their financial literacy, set financial goals, grow their incomes, reduce debt, save regularly and invest in their future are a critical means of building more resilient households and communities, while helping more families move out of poverty. (2a)
Make Tax Time Pay – Click here for information on how filing your taxes can benefit you, and where you can get them prepared at no cost.
Creating Financial Pathways: November 3rd, 2016 – Held a community conversation with 60 attendees, to discuss creating local micro-lending and emergency credit solutions, in light of new provincial legislation around payday lending. This event was sponsored by CAPRA, MNP, Credit Canada and ATB. Presenters included:
RESP Smart Start Training – June 2015 – trained 15 people
FREE Money Party – July 2015 – opportunity to sign up for free for provincial and federal RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan)
SPENT: Looking for Change. Over 125 people attended a free video screening and panel discussion about the pitfalls of payday lenders and payday loans during Financial Literacy Month Nov 2015. The event was sponsored by ATB, CAPRA, Bromwich & Smith, MNP, and Credit Canada.
Payday lending regulation awareness, education and advocacy (City of Red Deer Notice of Motion August 2015, put forth by Councilors Harris and Johnston).
The provincial Financial Empowerment Forum is being held in Red Deer on October 24, 2019. The cost is free and registration will be available in September.
November 5, 2019 will be the next meeting for the local committee. The focus will be where to from here.
Tax preparation – Research supports that establishment of free/low cost community tax preparation services and enhanced public awareness campaigns to improve the uptake of tax filing and the related benefits available.(2b) The CAPRA Financial Empowerment Committee is exploring how we can partner with other agencies to build capacity for Volunteer Tax Preparation in 2016 for low income families to be able to access the recently increased child tax benefit dollars available federally and provincially available by completing a 2015 tax return. For example the Make Tax Time Pay program offered by the non-profit E4C in Edmonton provides free income tax preparation and benefits assistance at 26 sites temporarily set-up during tax time. In 2012 over 4,422 tax returns were filed, returning more than $1.7 million to low income residents (4)
The Financial Literacy Action Committee meets monthly and is always looking for interested people to join our group.
If you are interested in joining or are looking for more information, please contact us through our online form.