FREDERICTON (CNB) – The Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation is now welcoming applications for the establishment of 12 community inclusion networks across the province.

“These networks will provide an inclusive forum to co-ordinate poverty reduction efforts at the local level,” said Social Development Minister Sue Stultz, one of the four co-chairs of the Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation. “All residents, community organizations, local business, government agencies, and communities will be welcomed and encouraged to participate in their local network.”

Corporation co-chair Léo-Paul Pinet said the boundaries are based upon traditional relationships between communities and the Department of Social Development's regional boundaries.

“Now that the network boundaries have been established, the corporation is ready to take action by encouraging poverty reduction efforts at the local level,” Pinet said. “We expect community stakeholders will be eager to organize themselves and ask to be recognized as a community inclusion network.”

Under to the Economic and Social Inclusion Act, the corporation can recognize a community inclusion network provided the local group has established a structure for governance and decision making, which includes a board with representation from business, government, the non-profit sector and residents who are living or have lived in poverty.

A proposed network must have at least two letters of support from communities in their geographic area. It must also be able to leverage community resources from a variety of sources, have the ability to address the linguistic needs of both official language communities, and have an acceptable, transparent process for managing funds.

Organizations wishing to host the network are invited to submit their applications and a preliminary plan to the Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation by Dec. 22. Additional details on how to become a community inclusion network, including a map of the 12 regions, are available online.


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