FREDERICTON (CNB) - Legislation introduced today will implement the province's poverty reduction plan and ensure the delivery of poverty initiatives at the community level.

Social Development Minister Kelly Lamrock introduced the Economic and Social Inclusion Act in the legislative assembly.

"While government plays an important role in helping lift New Brunswickers out of poverty, we cannot do it alone," said Lamrock. "With the introduction of this act, we are formalizing the partnership among government, business and communities in the fight to reduce poverty in our province."

The Economic and Social Inclusion Act will serve as the legislative framework to implement

Overcoming Poverty Together: The New Brunswick Economic and Social Inclusion Plan. It will create a structure to ensure and facilitate on-going engagement and partnership of residents and all sectors of society. Specifically, the act will:

  • establish the New Brunswick Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation, a Part 1 corporation under the Public Service Labour Relations Act;
  • provide for the establishment of community inclusion networks; and
  • provide for the establishment of a co-ordination unit to provide support for the board and the community inclusion networks.

The board of directors of the corporation will be composed of 22 members representing government; business; community non-profit organizations; and persons having experienced poverty. Four vice-chairpersons, representative of each of these sectors, will be appointed and will take turns in assuming the position of chair for a one-year term.

The act fulfils a commitment made by the provincial government under the economic and social inclusion plan, adopted in November 2009 by the 50 members of the Final Forum representing government, the business and community sectors, and residents who have experienced living in poverty.