Our daily blog offers selected news of interest to SmartSAVER’s stakeholders and shines a light on the creative ways that communities are promoting the Canada Learning Bond. Stay up to date, read what others are doing and share your own story.


We hope our blog will create conversation and support the exchange of ideas.

We’d love to hear from you! Tell us about your CLB promotion or share tips to engage eligible families. Do you have a question for the community? Submit your stories, ideas and questions to info@SmartSAVER.org and we’ll share it on our blog.

Frequently Asked Question: Choosing a Financial Institution

Question: What’s the role of SmartSAVER’s partner financial institutions in the RESP and CLB application process?

SmartSAVER: When assisting a family to use SmartSAVER.org to apply for the Canada Learning Bond, it’s helpful to explain what will happen next to complete the process. This can help ensure that their interaction with the financial institution goes smoothly.

Here are some helpful tips that community organizations should share with families:

– Families that apply through StartMyRESP to open an RESP and to apply for the Canada Learning Bond, will be asked to choose from one of SmartSAVER’s partner financial institution that offer no fee RESPs. Depending on the applicant’s location, these include: BMO, Meridian Credit Union, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank, TD Canada Trust and Vancity.

– Families should choose a financial institution that is convenient to their home or workplace. This will make it easier to complete and sign the application documents.

– Families do not need to have an existing account to open an RESP and to apply for the CLB with a financial institution.

– The follow-up process with each financial institution is different:

  1. All StartMYRESP financial institution partners contact the applicant to complete the application process.
  2. BMO offers an applicant the option to complete the application process over the phone or in person. This flexibility could benefit applicants who live far from a branch or would find it difficult to visit one.
  3. TD Bank applicants can choose their branch location and schedule a follow-up meeting online or over the phone.

– If an applicant deals with one of SmartSAVER’s financial institution partners and feels more comfortable visiting a branch to start their RESP, they may wish to take that bank or credit union’s tip sheet. The tip sheet provides more information about the Canada Learning Bond and lists what an applicant should bring to a branch.

Have questions? Talk to one of our partnership managers about training or to get help in developing your CLB promotion!

Email Luke Connell or Joe March or call 416-966-1418 to chat.

Year Round Tax Clinics Can Get CLB Tax Time Toolkit Refills

Tool - SmartSAVER - Tax Time Post It ENThis past tax season more than 100 community tax clinics, serving tens of thousands of families across Canada, used SmartSAVER’s Tax Time Tools. Using these ‘Important Notice’ Post-It pads, volunteers let parents with Canada Learning Bond (CLB) eligible children know that they could open an RESP and apply for the CLB without paying any fees or making any contributions, or go to SmartSAVER.org to get more information.

Organizations offering tax help year-round can still get Tax Time Post-It pad refills from SmartSAVER to help the families they work with to catch up on completing their outstanding tax returns. This tool also offers organizations a great way to quickly share the CLB message without creating additional work for their volunteers and staff.
SmartSAVER can send a limited number of Tax Time Post-It pad refills to interested community service organizations operating year-round tax clinics. As the Canada Learning Bond is retroactive, it is important to continuously remind families about their access to the years of outstanding grants for their children’s post secondary education.
Email me and I’ll send you some Post-it pads right away!

Joe March, Partnership Manager, SmartSAVER

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