Nov. 16, 2001
FREDERICTON (CNB) -- A group of voluntary organizations in New Brunswick will undertake a project that will focus on building the capacity of the voluntary sector to influence the policies that affect their organizations and the people they represent.
The project, entitled PolicyLinkNB, is part of an activity resulting from the National Voluntary Sector Initiative, 'Partnering for the Benefit of Canadians'. The Government of Canada will invest $347,000 in this project over the next two years and the New Brunswick government will provide its employees who have professional expertise in this area.
It was launched today by Fredericton MP Andy Scott, on behalf of Human Resources Development Canada Minister Jane Stewart.
PolicyLinkNB is hosted by the John Howard Society of New Brunswick, and will bring together voluntary organizations, academia, the private sector, HRDC and other federal departments. Provincial departments and agencies will also participate such as the Regional Development Corporation, Family and Community Services, Education, Health and Wellness; Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Safety.
This partnership will explore mechanisms, processes and opportunities to strengthen the voluntary sector capacity to work more effectively in matters of public policy. They will use the subject of children and family poverty, a topic that touches many jurisdictions and interest groups. They will look at current policy approaches, identify areas for further research and share their experiences with others.
This project will establish an opportunity for many different kinds of organizations, groups and individuals to come together for action, research, and sharing of their experiences in the policy area.
"Volunteers enrich our lives and contribute to the vitality of our communities," Family and Community Services Minister Joan MacAlpine said. "As individuals and as members of associations, volunteers are the building blocks of a civil society. The development of the capacity of the volunteer sector is essential to the future of our communities, our province and our country. This sector must be brought into the public policy process, and with this project today, we are working toward that objective."
"The Government of Canada is committed to improving the social and economic well-being of all Canadians," Scott said. "This forum will allow governments and communities to explore ways for the voluntary sector to provide input on policy issues related to children and family poverty. It brings the people into the process."
The project funding is provided through the Social Development Partnerships Program of Human Resources Development Canada. This program is part of the Government of Canada strategy to identify, develop and promote best practices and models of service delivery and to build community capacity to meet the social development needs and aspirations of people at risk. The aim is to enable people to take their full place in our economy and society.
This project has been reviewed to ensure compliance with the department's improved administration of its grant and contribution programs.
MEDIA CONTACTS : Vicky Deschênes, communications, Family and Community Services, 506-453-2001; Liz Huff, Social Development Partnerships, Human Resources Development Canada, 819-997-1417; Etienne Chiasson, communications officer, Human Resources Development Canada, 506-452-3708.