April 23, 2001
For Immediate Release

Canada's Securities Regulators Launch National Investor Education Week

Helping Canada's youth to become prudent investors is a major theme of National Investor Education Week April 23-27.

But Canada's securities regulators won't make the mistake of preaching to teens about how to handle their money. Instead, they're letting young people tell their peers about the best ways to save and invest.

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), an umbrella group of 13 provincial and territorial securities commissions, have joined forces with the producers of a fast-paced weekly television program called Street Cents. The award-winning show, now in its 12th season on CBC-TV, features kids talking to kids about issues important to them.

"We knew we needed a fresh approach to help young people become good prudent investors, sooner rather than later," said CSA Chair Doug Hyndman. "To do that, you have to deliver information in a way that captures and holds their attention."

A two-minute segment produced for the show communicates two major messages: that young people can use savings and investments to become independent and to help them achieve life goals such as getting an education and travelling. The segment is to be broadcast several times on CBC and CBC Newsworld during the next year. It will also be broadcast via cable to 8,500 secondary schools across Canada.

It is the second consecutive year that the national regulators group has singled out youth as a target audience. Last year's campaign featured three 60-second segments on investing and saving that were aired on two popular cable programs -- Much Music and MusiquePlus. Commission des valeurs mobilieres du Quebec is re-broadcasting the segments again this year on MusiquePlus.

Television is just one way the commissions are reaching out to youth. Several commissions are sponsoring secondary school classes on saving and investing in partnership with Junior Achievement, a worldwide organization dedicated to encouraging entrepreneurship in young people.

In Manitoba, the commission is joining with the Investor Learning Centre, the educational arm of the Canadian Securities Institute, to launch an Internet-based investment quiz for kids. The Alberta Securities Commission is reaching out to Grade 11 students in rural areas of that province with a class called Invest Time Before You Invest.

In Vancouver, the BCSC will also be partnering with Junior Achievement to teach savings and investing tips to hundreds of Grade 8 students. The commission is also announcing a major new investor initiative involving the province's 250 libraries.

In Moncton, the New Brunswick securities regulator is staging seminars for seniors during the education week. It is hosting a public forum aimed at warning investors about scam artists touting offshore investments, entitled Journey Through the Financial Jungle: a Practical Seminar on Safeguarding Your Future.

In Ontario, the commission is putting on a series of forums and seminars throughout the week on topics ranging from how to understand financial reporting and valuing securities to what every investor needs to know about investment risk. The OSC website carries a full description of event dates, times and locations.

The securities regulators are also targeting mature Canadians living in smaller centres where access to investor information and resources may be more limited. To reach them, the regulators have produced a series of columns on investor topics distributed through Canada's 1,100 community newspapers.

For further information about National Investor Education Week, please visit the following websites or contact your local securities regulator.

Alberta Securities Commission
Contact: Joni Delaurier
Telephone: (403) 297-4481
Website: ww.albertasecurities.com

British Columbia Securities Commission
Contact: Michael Bernard
Telephone: (604) 899-6524
Website: www.bcsc.bc.ca

Manitoba Securities Commission
Contact: Ainsley Cunningham
Telephone: (204) 945-4733
Website: www.msc.gov.mb.ca

New Brunswick Office of the Administrator
Of Securities
Contact: Suzanne Ball
Telephone: (506) 658-3060

Ontario Securities Commission
Contact: Terri Williams
Telephone: (416) 593-2350
Website: www.osc.gov.on.ca

Commission des valeurs mobilieres du Quebec
Contact: Denis Dubé
Telephone: (514) 940-2163
Website: www.cvmq.com

Some Quickfacts About Youth and Money

  • By the year 2004, there will be 4.4 million Canadians between the ages of 10 and 19.
  • Youth between nine and 19 years old spend over $14 billion a year as consumers
  • More than 60 per cent of Canadian youth use the Internet each day
  • The average teen has a monthly disposable income of $500
  • About 50 per cent of Canadian teenagers have jobs averaging 15 hours a week.

(Sources: Statistics Canada, Youth Culture Inc., Lycos, Street Cents)