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Experts from all sectors convene to combat poverty and financial vulnerability

2 November 2015
Toronto, November 2, 2015 – Today marks the opening of the fourth biennial ABLE Financial Empowerment Conference, a unique, cross-sectoral gathering of over 300 Canadian leaders working to develop financial policies, programs, products and services that combat financial vulnerability and build the financial wellbeing of Canadians living in poverty.
Hosted by Prosper Canada, the two-day national conference is an initiative of the Asset Building Learning Exchange (ABLE), a network of community organizations, governments, financial services providers, academic researchers, and funders dedicated to reducing poverty through financial empowerment, an integrated set of interventions proven to improve financial outcomes for people with low-incomes.  
“Financial empowerment requires the active engagement of all sectors, which is why this year’s conference theme is Aligning for Impact,” said Adam Fair, Chair of the ABLE Steering Committee and Director of Programs at Prosper Canada. “When it comes to addressing the complex societal challenge of poverty, every sector has a role to play and invaluable insights, expertise, tools and resources to contribute.”
This year’s conference also marks the launch of Financial Literacy Month by Canada’s Financial Literacy Leader, Jane Rooney, who will be inviting conference goers to mobilize in support of Canada’s National Strategy for Financial Literacy – Count me in, Canada. 
“Through all our efforts across Canada, we are making a difference by empowering people to improve their financial well-being, but we have more to do, particularly with those groups with specific needs,” said Ms. Rooney. “The theme of Financial Literacy Month this year is “Count Me In, Canada” and this conference is a great opportunity to compare notes on best practices, to collaborate further and to continue to inspire each other in our work.”  
The Honourable Deb Matthews, Deputy Premier and Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy will also be speaking about the importance of financial empowerment in the context of Ontario’s poverty reduction efforts.  
International keynote speakers include leading U.S. behavioural scientist Eldar Shafir, CIFAR Senior Fellow and Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton University, and Ray Boshara, Director of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Center for Household Financial Stability. 
Leading Canadian financial empowerment experts, including Louise Simbandumwe, Director of Asset Building Programs at SEED Winnipeg, and Donna McBride, Director of Operations for Momentum in Calgary, will join other social sector leaders like Ian Bird, President, Community Foundations of Canada, to discuss and share innovative approaches that support people in poverty to build their income and wealth. 
This year’s conference builds on the knowledge and expertise of previous conference hosts - Edmonton’s Alberta Asset Building Collaborative, SEED Winnipeg, and Momentum and the Calgary Financial Empowerment Collaborative. The 2015 ABLE Financial Conference is generously supported by its many sponsors, led by Event Sponsor TD Bank Group and Platinum Sponsors Turbotax and Meridian.
Prosper Canada
Prosper Canada is a national charity dedicated to expanding economic opportunity for Canadians living in poverty through program and policy innovation. Prosper Canada works with government, business and community partners to develop and promote financial policies, programs and resources that remove barriers and help more Canadians to prosper. The Prosper Canada Centre for Financial Literacy is co-founded and supported by TD Bank Group. To learn more about Prosper Canada and the Prosper Canada Centre for Financial Literacy, please visit
Media Contact
Prosper Canada
Julie McFayden
Manager, Marketing & Communications
416-665-2828 ext. 231