FREDERICTON (GNB) – Scott MacAfee, co-ordinator of the community inclusion networks at the Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation, was recently appointed chairperson of the National Advisory Council on Poverty.

The council is composed of 10 people including individuals with lived experience, leaders, experts, academics, and practitioners that work in the field of poverty reduction. They will provide independent advice on Opportunity for All – Canada’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy to the federal minister of Families, Children and Social Development. The council will also report annually on progress toward reducing poverty by 20 per cent by 2020, and by 50 per cent by 2030.

MacAfee has spent the past 19 years working on poverty reduction with the provincial government, first with the Department of Social Development and then with the Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation.

He has provided support to the creation and evolution of the province’s 12 community inclusion networks and has helped with the development of more than 500 community projects.

“I am thrilled by the opportunity to do my part as chair of this amazingly talented and experienced group. It is quite an honour and a challenge,” said MacAfee. “Poverty in Canada impacts every aspect of our society and we need to do better. Opportunity for All gives all Canadians a plan on how we can help lift each other, our neighbours, our communities and ultimately our country out of poverty.”

MacAfee described himself as a student of life who lives and works from a strength-based approach, where all people have something to contribute. He is passionate about asset-based community development, storytelling, literacy, community transportation and social enterprise.

He has chaired the board of the OMISTA Credit Union, the Falls Brook Centre, the New Brunswick Food Security Action Network and the Fredericton Loyalists Rugby Club. He has also served on the boards of the Atlantic Summer Institute, the Healthy Eating Physical Activity Coalition and Team Rural NB.

“The selection of Mr. MacAfee as chair of the National Council is, without a doubt, in recognition of his valuable contribution to the betterment of his fellow New Brunswickers and the high regard in which the Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation is held across Canada,” said Social Development Minister Dorothy Shephard, who is co-chair and minister responsible for Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation. “The corporation’s board of directors and the provincial government are confident that Scott will lead this national entity with the same dedication and compassion he has shown in New Brunswick and we wish him every success.”

MacAfee was chosen from more than 800 applicants from across Canada following a public call for applications that was held in December 2018 and January 2019.