National Literacy Policy Act

An Act to establish a national literacy policy

This bill was last introduced in the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session, which ended in August 2015.

This bill was previously introduced in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session.


Linda Duncan  NDP

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


Introduced, as of Oct. 16, 2013
(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

October 5th, 2011 / 3:20 p.m.
See context


Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-327, An Act to establish a national literacy policy.

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to have my bill seconded by the hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent, a wonderful colleague.

Today is a very auspicious day to table this bill because it is International Teachers' Day.

This bill, which would establish a national literacy policy in consultation with the provinces, businesses, unions, experts, media and the public, is intended to address the serious issue of literacy in Canada. The bill would impose a leadership role on the federal government to enable action in a coordinated way among all the parties that are already working in their individual jurisdictions. It would require the government to report to Parliament once a year on action that has been taken.

I wish today to recognize the efforts of volunteers across our country who are working to improve literacy in the country, including a number of Edmonton organizations: the Edmonton literacy coalition, the Centre for Family Literacy, PALS and the John Howard Society.

Four in 10 Canadian adults fall below the literacy requirement. By 2031, more than 15 million Canadian adults will have low literacy levels. Unless some action is taken to reverse this trend, it has been stated by OECD and a number of think tanks that we will face profound challenges for Canada's social well-being and economic prosperity.

Right now, 60% of immigrants have low literacy and among aboriginal people, including the Yukon, 69% of the aboriginal population in the Northwest Territories have low literacy, and 88% of Inuit. Of course, this is also affiliated with the fact that they are struggling to learn their own languages.

I look forward to the support of the House for improving literacy in Canada.

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