Sept. 5, 2003
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The government's response to the final report of the New Brunswick Disability Framework Working Group was released today by Family and Community Services Minister Tony Huntjens.
"The government continues its commitment to persons with disabilities by accepting the guiding philosophy of the Working Group's report," Huntjens said. "The report contains 24 recommendations to improve services to persons with disabilities, by developing a new disability policy framework."
Family and Community Services Minister Tony Huntjens
Government accepts in principle the majority of the recommendations. Work will now be carried out toward establishing, through the implementation of pilot projects, a person-centred approach that empowers persons with disabilities to participate as full citizens of New Brunswick.
"We will begin designing the pilot projects and ensure they reflect the recommendations of the working group," the minister said. "The province-wide phase-in of a new Disability Support Program will be considered after the results of the pilot projects have been evaluated."
This year, pilot sites will be chosen and projects will be developed to determine future changes in program delivery. A new Disability Support Program will focus on individual development and community participation.
New Brunswick has already demonstrated its commitment to improving services to persons with disabilities by implementing a disability supplement; funding Community Inclusion Projects; investing in the Long Term Care Program, and participating in the federal/provincial/territorial initiative to develop the Disability WebLinks site.
The New Brunswick Disability Framework Working Group was established in February 2002 by Premier Bernard Lord. Its mandate was to find alternatives to delivering services to adults with disabilities, under the current Long Term Care Program. The working group included representatives from various disability organizations and government. It was co-chaired by Kirk MacDonald (MLA-Mactaquac) and Jean-Guy LaForest (former MLA-Grand Falls).
MEDIA CONTACT: Wade Wilson, communications, Family and Community Services, 506-444-3684.