Social Development

New Brunswickers invited to register for poverty reduction dialogue sessions (09/01/07)

NB 9

Jan. 7, 2009

FREDERICTON (CNB) - Individuals and members of organizations interested in finding ways to reduce poverty in New Brunswick are invited to register for dialogue sessions scheduled to be held across the province in January and February. The sessions will take place in 14 different communities as part of the development of a provincewide poverty reduction plan.

Dialogue sessions are a part of Bringing the pieces together, a comprehensive public engagement initiative designed to give New Brunswickers the opportunity to get involved in reducing and preventing poverty. It will be conducted in three stages: a dialogue phase; a round table phase; and a final forum phase. The process is expected to be completed later this year.

"Economic development and social development are linked," said Gerry Pond, who represents the province's business community as one of three members of the initiative's leadership team. "It's only when all members of our community are able to contribute that we can truly progress as a society. We can not afford to turn our backs on poverty."

Dialogue sessions are designed to encourage discussion between participants on how to reduce poverty. With the assistance of facilitators, participants will work in groups to share views, personal stories, experiences and ideas about poverty in the province. No presentations or speeches will be made. Those interested in participating in dialogue sessions may register now by calling 1-888-315-6606.

"This poverty reduction initiative represents a new opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those in need," said Léo-Paul Pinet, who represents the non-profit sector on the leadership team. "This initiative will be instrumental in developing a more comprehensive approach to eliminating poverty in New Brunswick."

"We invite all New Brunswickers to be a part of this process," said Minister of Social Development Mary Schryer. "The success of this initiative requires participation from everyone: the community non-profit organizations, businesses, universities, residents and governments."

Individuals and members of organizations who are unable to participate in the sessions may still share their views on poverty, by e-mail at: poverty@gnb.ca; by fax at: 506-462-5150; by regular mail at: A Poverty Reduction Plan for New Brunswick, c/o The Department of Social Development, P.O. Box 6000, Fredericton, NB, E3B 5H1; or through the Social Development website.

More information, including the dates and locations of the dialogue sessions, may be found at http://www.gnb.ca/poverty.

09/01/07

MEDIA CONTACT: Robert Duguay, Poverty Reduction Initiative, Social Development, 506-444-2155.

09/01/07