Oct. 17, 2008
MONCTON (CNB) - The provincial government is inviting New Brunswickers to become involved in the development of a poverty reduction plan.
"To turn our vision of a self-sufficient New Brunswick into a reality, we must overcome the challenges of poverty," said Premier Shawn Graham. "As poverty affects all of us, overcoming it will take each of us."
The province is launching a public engagement initiative called Bringing The Pieces Together, which will give New Brunswickers the opportunity to become involved in reducing and preventing poverty.
This initiative, to be completed by the end of 2009, will be conducted in three stages: a dialogue phase; a round table phase; and a final forum phase. The result will be the publication of a poverty reduction plan for New Brunswick.
"Government's goal to achieve self-sufficiency by 2026 will require fundamental social and economic changes," said Graham. "While many initiatives provide assistance to people in need, the province requires a more comprehensive social development approach to address poverty."
The process will be under the supervision of a leadership team composed of representatives of the provincial government, the business sector and the non-profit community. Social Development Minister Mary Schryer will represent the provincial government.
"Developing a poverty reduction plan is a shared responsibility," said Schryer. "The success of this initiative requires participation from everyone, the community non-profit organizations, businesses, universities, citizens and governments. This is a unique opportunity to rethink the social development policies of New Brunswick."
Individuals and organizations are invited to take part. They may participate in the various sessions to debate how to reduce poverty; to determine how to implement actions; and to decide how the plan will be monitored. They may forward suggestions by using e-mail, fax, regular mail, or through the website, http://www.gnb.ca/poverty.
Public meetings will take place in the regions of Bathurst, Campbellton, Caraquet, Edmundston, Fredericton, Miramichi, Moncton, and Saint John. The process will start in January 2009 and conclude in the fall of 2009 with the final forum.
"The road to self-sufficiency is a journey we take together with benefits that we will enjoy together," said Graham. "And together we'll make sure no one is left behind. Be engaged. Be a participant. Be a part of the solution."
MEDIA CONTACT: Robert Duguay, communications manager, Poverty Reduction Initiative, Department of Social Development, 506-444-2155.