Nov. 13, 2009
SAINT JOHN (CNB) - The 50 participants attending the Final Forum on Poverty today adopted the first-ever poverty reduction plan for the province.
Overcoming Poverty Together: The New Brunswick Economic and Social Inclusion Plan aims to reduce income poverty in the province by 25 per cent and deep income poverty by 50 per cent by 2015.
"What has been agreed to here today is exceptional, and it will put us on the right path to achieving our poverty-reduction goals and helping thousands of New Brunswickers be more self-sufficient," said Premier Shawn Graham.
Participants at the forum agreed on specific initiatives to ensure ongoing collaboration between government, the business sector and the organizations delivering poverty-reduction initiatives at the local level:
The participants reached agreement on several other topics:
"It has truly been an honour to serve as the government co-chair on this initiative and to work with so many who are committed to reducing poverty levels all across our province," said Social Development Minister Kelly Lamrock. "I thank everyone who participated in the three phases of this initiative for their valuable input, and I look forward to implementing the changes for government that have been identified through this process."
The New Brunswick Poverty Reduction Initiative was launched in October 2008 by Graham and Health Minister Mary Schryer, who preceded Lamrock as minister of social development.
"All sectors of society have a role to play in reducing poverty in our communities," said Gerry Pond, Poverty Reduction Initiative co-chair representing business. "I am excited that the business community has recognized the important role that it can play in improving the lives of those who are less fortunate in our society."
The New Brunswick Poverty Reduction Initiative enabled more than 2,500 New Brunswickers from all walks of life to become involved in the development of a plan to reduce poverty in the province.
"Everyone knows the importance of community to the well-being of individuals and families," said Léo-Paul Pinet, Poverty Reduction Initiative co-chair representing the community non-profit sector. "Today's announcement of a social and economic inclusion plan firmly entrenches the role that local communities have to play in ensuring that poverty issues address local needs."
MEDIA CONTACT: Robert Duguay, communications, Social Development, 506-444-2155.