National Literacy Policy Act

An Act to establish a national literacy policy

This bill was last introduced in the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session, which ended in March 2011.

This bill was previously introduced in the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session.


Mario Silva  Liberal

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)


Introduced, as of June 3, 2009
(This bill did not become law.)


This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

The purpose of this enactment is to require the Minister of Canadian Heritage to consult with the provincial ministers of the Crown responsible for education and literacy, experts in education and literacy, representatives of business and labour and representatives of the media in order to establish a national literacy policy.


All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

National Literacy Policy ActRoutine Proceedings

June 3rd, 2009 / 4:30 p.m.
See context


Mario Silva Liberal Davenport, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-401, An Act to establish a national literacy policy.

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to have this opportunity to reintroduce my private member's bill, calling for a national literacy policy.

A national literacy program would help to ensure that educational initiatives would be undertaken to assist Canada's young people with literacy issues. The bedrock of any education is the ability to read and write effectively, and a lifetime of learning requires a solid foundation. This would be assisted by the creation of a national literacy program.

Illiteracy in our country costs the economy an estimated $10 billion annually, not to mention the ongoing daily struggles of those who must contend with limited skills in reading and writing. Ultimately, there is no short or long-term benefit to shortchanging the future of Canada by failing to adequately invest in the education of young Canadians.

I urge the government to consider the important national initiative and recognize that by ensuring our young people receive the best possible education, we are also ensuring that our society thrives, grows and prospers.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)