Dunn is referring to international survey results released last month that show Nova Scotians aged 16 to 24 ranked lower than average compared to other industrialized countries.
The Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies indicates 42 per cent of Canadians struggle with low literacy. That figure ranges from 38 to 55 per cent in Nova Scotia.
"In order for change to happen you have to have a plan," Dunn says. "In order to get somewhere you have to have a map."
Canada is one of the few industrialized countries without a coordinated framework to address literacy from early childhood to adulthood.
While only about 15 per cent of Canadians are illiterate, Dunn says one in four suffers from low literacy.
That means reading, writing and math skills below a Grade 8 level.