10 11 November 2016) should be very concerning to a number of areas of government. In addition to the negative overall effect on long-term poverty reduction strategies, spe- cific impacts attached to financial illiteracy may include new pressures on voluntary organizations who serve the less-ad- vantaged and increases to community and social services program funding allocations. The absence of effective financial literacy education in schools has the potential to drive up the need, cost and use of the reme- dial programs now offered to support young Ontarians as they transition to independence. For advocates invested in building a better Toronto, a region where 28.6 percent of children live in poverty, the situation is disheartening given that Toronto stu- dents are among the 1.3 million young people being deprived of the benefit of a ubiquitous, high- efficacy, early financial literacy education. “This evaluation has been published in the hopes that it will serve as a catalyst for change such that all Ontario elementary students, in particular those considered vulnerable-sector,will one day have access to a quality financial literacy education in the class- room,” said Tricia Barry, Executive Director,Money School Canada, a youth financial literacy advocate and the paper’s main author. The Ministry of Education’s performance in the elementary financial literacy educational arena is out of step with interna- tional thinking and best practices. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) publica- tion Principles and Good Practices for Financial Education and Awareness, 2005 financial education should start as early as possible and be taught in schools. The OECD states that includ- ing financial education as part of the school curriculum is a fair and efficient policy tool and that building it into curriculums from an early age allows children to acquire the knowledge and skills to build responsible financial behavior throughout each stage of their education. “All young Canadians deserve the opportunity to develop the financial literacy knowledge, skill and confidence they need to grow into successful, included young adults. Education systems play a major role and have a responsibility to ensure that all students are given early access to the information, tools and training they need to be successful,” Barry added. OPENING LINES proteCt your plantS and Spread Cheer, not invaSive hungry peStS, thiS holiday SeaSon The December holiday sea- son is the greatest gift-giving time of the year, and can be a vulnerable time for spreading dangerous, invasive Hungry Pests. These pests can travel across borders, continents and oceans with human assistance. They hitchhike in or on plants, produce, or food brought in as gifts from friends and fami- lies. Or they can hide in or on firewood brought from another location to light a holiday fire. As such, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is asking the public to help safeguard the nation’s trees and plants by taking a few simple actions. “By following a few simple steps this holiday season, consumers can help protect the food on our nation’s tables and prevent billions of dollars’ worth of damage to our country’s crops and forests,” said USDA APHIS Deputy Administrator Osama El-Lissy. “Although it’s winter, invasive pests are still at work. It doesn’t take much to stop these Hungry Pests from spreading, and the benefits are enormous.” Here are some ways the public can help protect the holidays from Hungry Pests: n ordering online: Poinsettias and amaryllis make festive gifts, but be careful when ordering any plant online. To spread holiday cheer instead of invasive pests, only buy or order plants from reputable vendors that com- ply with federal quarantine restrictions.To be safe, ask the grower if they are aware of and abide by all USDA regula- tions for that particular plant. n HolidayTrees,Wreaths &Greens: When buying your holiday tree, deck the halls with greens and holly, but be sure to buy them from trusted sources. Established retail- ers make sure their suppliers follow federal quarantine restrictions that prevent invasive pests from hitchhiking on holiday trees and decorations. n Moving Firewood: For a safe and cozy yuletide fire, buy firewood where you plan to burn it. If burning your own firewood, don’t move it off your property or you may spread invasive tree killers like the emerald ash borer and Asian longhorned beetle. Instead, buy or responsibly gather firewood near the place you’ll burn it.Or take certified, heat-treated firewood with you instead. n International Travel: Traveling abroad for the holidays? Declare all agricultural items to customs officials upon your return or you may bring backmore than memories. In addi- tion to fresh produce, declare all spices, grains and packaged foods,which could carry the destructive Khapra beetle.Visit www.DontPackaPest.com, a website sponsored by USDA and several partner agencies, to learn what is safe to bring back and other valuable travel tips. n International Gift-Giving: International customs are fun to keep, but be careful not to send or accept greenery, seeds, trees or plants, including citrus, across borders. Citrus greening, citrus canker and other devastating diseases are spread by the movement of infected plants. This includes items made with citrus, such as floral arrange- ments, wreaths, potpourri or seasonings like kaffir lime leaves. Most international items can be found in the Unit- ed States, so discourage family and friends from sending them and buy them here instead.