The second poverty reduction plan was unveiled Friday by the Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation of New Brunswick.
"This plan represents the willingness of New Brunswickers from all sectors to rally around a shared vision of society that seeks to build a more inclusive New Brunswick," said Léo-Paul Pinet, corporation president. "The plan was designed so that everyone can make a direct and tangible contribution with respect to improving their own situation."
The plan, entitled Overcoming Poverty Together: The New Brunswick Economic and Social Inclusion Plan, 2014-2019, is based on four pillars:
– community empowerment, includes actions addressing community development, communication and networking, and volunteerism;
– learning, includes actions addressing child and youth education and adult education, training, and preparation for work;
– economic inclusion, includes actions addressing participation in the labour market and business activity; and
– social inclusion, includes actions addressing food security and healthy food availability, housing, and transportation.
"I encourage all New Brunswickers to embrace this plan and to participate in it personally," said Premier David Alward. "The fight against poverty is a shared responsibility that requires an integrated approach and the participation of residents at all levels."
During a public engagement process that took place across the province in September and October 2013, more than 4,800 comments were received from participants. Those comments were used to lay the foundations of the five-year action plan, which will come into effect at the end of 2014.
The new plan, like the first one, brings together people who live or have lived in poverty with representatives of the non-profit sector, the business sector, and the government. It has a unique collective and collaborative approach based on the premise that everyone is part of the solution.
Under the Economic and Social Inclusion Act, the plan must be renewed every five years through a public engagement process. Overcoming Poverty Together: The New Brunswick Economic and Social Inclusion Plan, 2014-2019 builds on the momentum of the initial plan, which expires in November 2014. Certain measures from the first plan that have not been completed will be carried over.
Below are a few statistics about the public engagement process that led to the plan's development:
● 12 public dialogues;
● 776 participants in the public dialogues;
● three regional and provincial stakeholder meetings;
● 4,854 comments received;
● 16 briefs received; and
● more than 4,400 hours of volunteer work logged by participants.
The Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation is a Crown corporation that co-ordinates and implements the Overcoming Poverty Together strategy. Its board of directors is made up of 22 members representing government, business, non-profit community organizations, and individuals who have experienced poverty.