Chief Executive Officer's Address.
Helping Canadians learn critical life skills in financial management is what we are all about at Credit Canada Debt Solutions.
Yet our satisfaction is tempered by an underlying concern - not just for the rising tide of consumer debt that threatens to overwhelm the welfare and futures of Canadian consumers - but also for the recent difficulties that have touched the Credit Counselling industry just south of our own borders.Helping people deal with immediate debt problems is only part of the story at Credit Canada Debt Solutions. We also equip people with the skills they need to manage their finances intelligently over time, and hopefully for a lifetime. This is the central motivation that accounts for the moral and ethical standards that unite our organization. This year, once again, our agency has grown. Its reach and influence, and the numbers of families and individuals we have helped, has expanded. We are pleased.
There has been an astounding growth of the credit industry, as well as fundamental shifts in society's values and financial expectations. Rising affluence and rising debt have become almost indistinguishable, as year-over-year consumers embrace higher levels of debt together with lower levels of savings.
Much of our organization's growth can be solely attributed to this fundamental imbalance. Yet each day - in direct contrast to this pervasive indifference to fiscal responsibility - we also witness the admirable personal commitment that our clients apply to resolving their personal credit difficulties and to mastering their own financial futures.
Debt repayment is only one important dimension of this work. In the face of the radical social change that has occurred, it is equally important that we all find and pursue every means to educate and inform young people and consumers about the fundamentals of personal financial management and help them to take charge of their finances. Only by this means can a true balance be struck.
As we have recently learned, these lessons are equally true for our own industry.
If Credit Canada Debt Solutions is to succeed - and it must - then all factions within our industry must work together. We must finally learn that Credit Counselling Services are not the debt collection method of last resort. Rather, they can be a compelling force for social change. The education we provide, our media voice, and the Debt Repayment Programs we administer change lives and affect consumer values. We work with individuals, but our influence affects social outcomes.
We appeal to credit lenders to embrace this truth and to maximize their fair share contributions and cooperation with Credit Counselling Agencies throughout North America. And we look to our own profession to double its commitment to education and advocacy for consumer welfare.
Without a concerted commitment by credit lenders and a texture of viable government policies and legislation, we fear that an increasing number of consumers will succumb to the ravages of debt. Canada's aging population alone may see to this - as many lose their ability to work and to service their overwhelming personal debt.
Last year we shared the stories of the individual courage of our clients. Please take the time to read their stories. You will understand why our work is so important.
For my part, I thank our Boards of Directors for their wise direction and support.
I also trust the values and the commitment of our staff, and I thank them for their devotion to this work. Together, we have embraced the mantle of leadership in our industry, not through ambition, but through the knowledge that no day can be wasted and no consumer in financial difficulties can be left behind. I also wish to thank our funding supporters in the Credit industry, and I welcome your suggestions as to what else your organization can do to align with our work - for it is this work that will truly secure our collective futures.
Empowered Canadians leading healthy financial lives.
Through financial education and debt resolution, we empower and strengthen Canadians to achieve their goals and improve their quality of life.
Principles and Values
We believe in:
- Dignity and respect, treating all people as equals, deserving of dignity, compassion and fairness, as a basis to develop trusting relationships.
- Empowerment, the importance of empowering people through preventive financial education and training to take responsibility for and leadership in their debt resolution and financial security.
- Collaboration, sharing our knowledge, capacities and resources through partnerships and collaborationsthat bring greater benefit to Canadians with financial challenges.
- Confidentiality, respecting the privacy and confidentiality of each person we serve.
- Excellence, creating an organizational culture that fosters innovation, learning, caring, continuous improvement and team work as the basis to deliver quality services.
- Integrity, being accountable for the decisions we make and the resources we utilize, and being ethical and acting with transparency in all that we do.
|James T. Lumsden
President and Chair of the Board
Secretary / Treasurer
|Laurie A. Campbell
|Kenneth D. Kraft
|Arthur H. Chamberlain
Central 1 Credit Union
An Idea Whose Time Has Come
RTR Media Inc.
|Dawna M. Matton
Insurance Institute of Canada
|James T. Lumsden
|Christine J. Perl
|Nelson H. Smith
|Barbara E. Warner
SPB Organizational Psychology