FREDERICTON (GNB) – More than 2,300 people participated in the public engagement process that took place during February, March and April to renew Overcoming Poverty Together: the New Brunswick Economic and Social Inclusion Plan.

The process, which was developed by the New Brunswick Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation, brought together residents, non-profit organizations, business people and representatives from various levels of government to talk about poverty and economic and social inclusion. More than 40 community dialogues and eight sectoral dialogues were held. The process also included an online survey about poverty, to which more than 1,200 people responded; focus groups with people living in poverty; and a call for briefs that was answered by 23 organizations wishing to present their perspectives on poverty.

“The public engagement process that has just ended is the most comprehensive in the province in terms of poverty since the adoption and implementation of the first plan in 2009,” said Stéphane Leclair, the corporation’s executive director. “We have achieved full representation of the four sectors – citizens, businesses, non-profit organizations and government – in gathering information and feedback that will be considered in the development of the new plan.”

The corporation will spend the coming weeks reviewing and analyzing the nearly 25,000 comments and ideas received. It will also consult experts on economic and social inclusion and poverty reduction from across Canada and beyond to share best practices. The corporation will then compile a list of priority actions that will guide the implementation of the third version of the plan early next year.

The Economic and Social Inclusion Act states that the corporation must renew the plan every five years through a public engagement process. The current plan expires at the end of 2019.

More details are available online.