FREDERICTON (GNB) – A series of public dialogue sessions will be held this autumn by the Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation, leading to a renewal of Overcoming Poverty Together – The New Brunswick Poverty Reduction Plan.

The announcement was made today by Léo-Paul Pinet, president of the corporation, accompanied by the four co-chairs of the corporation's board of directors.

Sessions which will take place in 12 communities are considered an important phase of the public engagement process leading to the renewal of the poverty reduction plan.

"The success achieved so far with the first poverty reduction plan is mainly due to its uniqueness, which has gathered, as a common societal project, people living or have lived in poverty as well as representatives from the non-profit, business and government sectors," said Pinet. "In addition, the creation of 12 community inclusion networks in the province has led to the implementation of more than 140 projects directly related to poverty reduction and economic and social inclusion."

Sessions, to be held Sept. 16 to Oct. 9, are designed to encourage discussion among participants on ways to reduce poverty. With the help of facilitators, participants will work in groups to exchange views, share experiences and propose priority actions that will later be included in the second plan of Overcoming Poverty Together.

"Government has been a key partner in Overcoming Poverty Together and has brought forward a series of initiatives to improve the quality of life of persons living in poverty," said Healthy and Inclusive Communities Minister Dorothy Shephard. "We are looking forward to the results of the public dialogue sessions to renew the strategy for the next five years. Poverty is an issue that concerns us all, and we must continue to work together to minimize its impact on New Brunswickers."

The Economic and Social Inclusion Act states that the corporation must renew the plan every five years through a public engagement process. Although the initial plan expires in November of 2014, the corporation considers it is important to take steps now toward its renewal. Once the first stage – the public dialogue – is completed, the ideas collected will be submitted to a committee to draw up a list of potential actions that will lead to a final draft to be approved by the board of directors in March of 2014.

Premier David Alward also participated in the announcement.

“This is an issue that is very close to my heart and that I have always supported, even before forming a government,” he said. “I invite and encourage all New Brunswickers, businesses, organizations and interest groups to participate in this public engagement exercise.”
Those who prefer can provide their views by going to the corporation’s website beginning in September.

The Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation is a Crown corporation that co-ordinates and implements Overcoming Poverty Together. Its board of directors has 22 members representing government, business, non-profit community organizations and people who have experienced poverty.

Following is the schedule of the public dialogue sessions:

Monday, Sept. 16, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. – Centre l'Ancre, 149 Acadie St.

Tuesday, Sept. 17, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. – Knights of Columbus Hall, 67 King St.

Wednesday, Sept. 18, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. – École la Rivière, 11291, Route 11.   


Monday, Sept. 23, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. – Knights of Columbus Hall, 15 Union St.  


Tuesday, Sept. 24, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. – Village Nursing Home, 101 Dover St.  


Wednesday, Sept. 25, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. – K.C. Irving Regional Centre, 850 St. Anne St.  

Monday, Sept. 30, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. – Faith Memorial United Church, 175 Burnham Rd.  

Burtts Corner:

Tuesday, Oct. 1, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. – Keswick Valley Memorial School, 20, Route 617.  


Wednesday, Oct. 2, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. – Moncton Lions Community Centre, 473 St. George St.  

Saint Andrews:

Monday, Oct. 7, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. – Atlantic Salmon Interpretive Centre, 24 Chamcook Lake #1 Rd.

Saint John:

Tuesday, Oct. 8,  6 p.m. - 9 p.m. – Carleton Community Centre, 82 Market Place.

Wednesday, Oct. 9,  6 p.m. - 9 p.m. – Willie O'Ree Place, 605 Cliffe St.