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County Council Asked To Champion Canada Learning Bond

Essex County Councillors are being asked to champion a savings bond that could help end generational poverty in their communities.

It is the Canada Learning Bond, and eligible parents can apply for up to $2,000 to invest in their children’s Registered Education Savings Plan for post secondary school.

Adam Vasey with the Downtown Mission appeared before county council Wednesday night to make a case for spreading the word. He says only 31% of eligible children in Windsor-Essex are taking part in the program.

“What that means is that there are 20,000 children right now in our community that are missing out on this opportunity,” he says.

The local uptake reflects rates across the country. Vasey says only 30% of children Canada-wide are using the bond.

“I really think it is going to be one of those initiatives that spreads through word of mouth, and by having visible champions talking about it, making sure people are aware of it,” Vasey says.

The Downtown Mission has taken up the cause as part of its strategy to end poverty, specifically generational poverty.

“It’s addressing a lot of those barriers that folks face when we talk about poverty,” says Vasey. “We know that saving for post-secondary education makes a huge difference in increasing children’s perspectives about whether they think they can attend post secondary. Their income over the course of their life is going to be that much higher if they’re able to attend and graduate post-secondary and that’s going to boost our economy.”

The bond is available to eligible children up to the age of 15 with a net family income of up to $46,000 annually.

– With files from Paul Pedro