Social Development / Office of the Premier

Leadership team to develop poverty reduction plan (08/11/28)

NB 1742

Nov. 28, 2008

FREDERICTON (CNB) - The provincial government is creating a three-person leadership team to develop a poverty reduction plan for New Brunswick, Premier Shawn Graham announced today.


The team will be composed of Social Development Minister Mary Schryer; Gerry Pond, former president of Aliant Telecom; and Léo-Paul Pinet from the Centre du bénévolat de la Péninsule acadienne.

"These very respected and experienced leaders are joining our new public engagement initiative to develop a strong poverty reduction plan for New Brunswick," said Graham. "With the support of the business and non-profit sectors, we will develop a more comprehensive approach to social development in our province."

Bringing the pieces together is a public engagement initiative that will give New Brunswickers the opportunity to become involved in reducing and preventing poverty. It will be under the supervision of the team represented by the provincial government, the business sector and the non-profit community.

Pond, representing the business sector, is a New Brunswick business leader with more than 40 years of business experience in this province. He was chief executive officer of NBTel (now part of Bell Aliant). He has also been a chairman of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. He is chairman of Mariner Partners Inc., a consulting and professional IT services firm.

Pinet, representing the non-profit sector, has been a leader in the social and economic development of francophone communities, particularly in the Acadian Peninsula, for more than 20 years. He is the executive-director of the Centre du bénévolat de la Péninsule acadienne and a member of the Economic Development Agency of the Acadian Peninsula.

"This is a great opportunity for the future development of New Brunswick," said Schryer. "The success of this initiative requires participation from everyone, the community non-profit organizations, businesses, universities, residents and governments. They are invited to take part in the public meetings taking place next winter in all regions of the province."

Bringing the pieces together will be conducted in three stages: a dialogue phase; a roundtable phase; and a final forum phase. Individuals and organizations may participate to discuss how to reduce poverty; to determine how to implement priority actions to reduce poverty; and to decide how to monitor the plan. They may also forward suggestions by using e-mail, fax, regular mail, or through the website,


MEDIA CONTACT: Robert Duguay, poverty reduction initiative, Department of Social Development, 506-444-2155.