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BMO and CFEE Expand Financial Literacy Program in Canada

- Talk With Our Kids About Money Day in participating schools in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 04/15/14 -- Talk With Our Kids About Money Day is expanding across Canada this year. The program, developed by the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE) in partnership with BMO Financial Group, offers a simple way to help young Canadians learn more about money and personal finances.

Talk With Our Kids About Money Day was launched last year in more than 400 schools in Toronto and Montreal. This year, the program expands to participating schools in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland. The program encourages Canadians to have conversations with youth about money and personal finance. The annual event takes place the third Wednesday in April, this year, April 16, with a "Home Program" for families and a "School Program" for Grade Seven students and teachers. Both parents and teachers can visit the online hub, www.talkwithourkidsaboutmoney.com, free for anyone to access, and updated with resources and curriculum ideas.

"Understanding how to manage money is one of the most important life skills parents and teachers can show our kids, and it's never too early to start. I applaud BMO and the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education for encouraging hundreds of schools and parents across Canada to actively take up this challenge and participate in this year's Talk With Our Kids About Money Day", said Kevin Sorenson, Minister of State (Finance). "While every day is a good day to talk with our kids about money, this tremendous initiative will help get that conversation started."

Highlights of School Program:


--  Easy-to-use lesson plans for teachers on incorporating money and finance
    into social studies, math, science, history, geography, music and art
--  Group discussion and debate ideas
--  Resources and interactive tools for teachers

Highlights of Parent Program:


--  Online access to ideas, activities, stories, resources, tools and videos
--  Discussion starters, interaction information and helpful resources links
--  Support resources are organized by child's age range

"The best way to help our youth prepare for their financial future is to get started - and as early as we can," said Gary Rabbior, President of the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education. "Talk With Our Kids About Money Day helps parents, guardians, and teachers get the conversations started - with easy to prepare, fun to do, and life-relevant activities and lessons."

"BMO has a longstanding commitment to fostering financial literacy and making money make sense - which in today's economy has never been more important for youth. The goal of Talk With Our Kids About Money Day is to bridge the information gap and arm youth with knowledge they need to become more financially confident," said L. Jacques Menard, Chairman of BMO Nesbitt Burns and Co-Chair of the Federal Task Force on Financial Literacy.

"Jim Flaherty made the expansion of financial literacy a key priority during his tenure as finance minister," continued Mr. Menard. "Today, we pay tribute to his efforts and his legacy. Congratulations to Jane Rooney, Canada's new Financial Literacy Leader - a position that represents a part of Mr. Flaherty's legacy."

Personal Finances in the Home

According to a BMO poll released today, Canadians would much rather talk to their kids about the facts of life than the family's financial situation (63 per cent vs. 37 per cent), indicating a lack of comfort among parents when it comes to having the "money" talk.

Furthermore, the poll revealed:


--  Only a quarter of parents feel strongly that they are equipped to give
    their children a solid financial education
--  Less than half (47 per cent) of Canadians are optimistic about the
    financial future of children and almost half (49 per cent) blame a lack
    of financial education for this outlook

Regional Breakdown


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          TOTAL ATL  QC  ON Prairies  AB  BC
                                            (%) (%) (%) (%)      (%) (%) (%)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Percentage of Canadians who would rather
 talk about the facts of life with their
 children than finances                      63  55  86  57       53  53  56
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Percentage of parents who feel strongly
 that they are equipped to provide a
 financial education                         25  25  20  27       32  23  27
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Percentage of parents optimistic about
 the financial future of children            47  46  53  49       39  43  38
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

(1)

Survey results cited in this release are from a Pollara survey commissioned by BMO Financial Group with an online random sample of 1,012 adult Canadians, between March 27th and 31st, 2014. As a guideline, a probability sample of this size would yield results accurate to +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

Data has been weighted by region, gender, and age, based on the most recent Census figures, so that it is representative of all adult Canadians.

About CFEE

CFEE is a federally chartered, non-profit, non-partisan organization, founded in 1974, that works to improve economic and financial literacy and enterprising capability. CFEE works collaboratively with ministries and departments of education along with school boards, schools, educators, and teacher associations. CFEE also engages in activities to support and assist newcomers and past immigrants to Canada, and the general public including print resources, videos, workshops, and online resources. Overall, CFEE aspires to help Canadians of all ages be better prepared to undertake their economic roles, responsibilities, and decisions with confidence and competence.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services organization based in North America. The bank offers a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers. BMO Financial Group had total assets of $593 billion and more than 45,500 employees at January 31, 2014.

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