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.

Guest post by Prosperity Roundtable CK: Living Wage and the Cities Reducing Poverty National Summit

In early April I had the pleasure of presenting on a Living Wage panel at Tamarack’s Cities Reducing Poverty Summit hosted this year in Hamilton, Ontario.

The Prosperity Roundtable from Chatham-Kent, Ontario was participating to talk about the unique challenges that may be experienced in rural communities when engaging in Living Wage conversations.  Framing the conversation in a way that leads to successful outcomes was incredibly important for our organizing committee; in our community that meant using our local Living Wage number as an opportunity to dialogue about the important policy considerations that can be used to help build a more prosperous community.  

We know in our community that the stumbling blocks for our model family (2 parents, 2 children, 1 school-aged and 1 in full-time daycare) are: access to alternative, licensed childcare; finding affordable and practical housing; and transportation. Our community is geographically large and predominantly rural so each of these issues are nuanced and challenging to solve, but the Living Wage campaign has allowed us to speak openly and transparently with community leaders about these topics.

It’s very important that we engage businesses in these conversations and encourage them to consider Living Wage as an opportunity to ensure their own workforce has the potential to live an inclusive life in the community that they call home. We have signed up fourteen businesses and are on track to sign up over twenty businesses in our first year.  It is exciting work and fulfilling work!

Do remember and know however, that there’s so much more to a Living Wage than simply a number shared with a community; it’s a springboard for important and necessary community conversations. I know, especially in rural communities, there’s fear and hesitancy around the Living Wage conversation but trust that organizations and individuals are more open to the conversation than you realize. Look for allies, build a roster of community leaders who understand the intrinsic business value of treating their employees well and hit the ground running! I’m sure you will be met with success!

By: Kate do Forno
Project Coordinator, Prosperity Roundtable Chatham-Kent

Guest Post by Pathways to Education: Helping youth achieve their full potential

Pathways to Education is a national, charitable organization working to make Canada a Graduation Nation. Partnering with dedicated organizations in low-income communities, Pathways supports youth to graduate from high school and achieve their full potential.

Pathways to Education Canada’s Employment Advisory Council (EAC) is a group of private, public, and not-for-profit professionals tasked with developing a website to encourage and assist employers on how to create internship opportunities for Pathways students and alumni.

On Pathways’ internship website, resources for how to develop an internship program are available for employers to access, along with student and alumni testimonials that illustrate how hosting internships for Pathways youth is a rewarding experience.

We encourage you to visit the new site and consider hosting an internship today.

By W. Aaron House, U.E., B.A., M.ED.
Director, Post-Secondary Affairs
Pathways to Education Canada

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