FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation released today a progress report on Overcoming Poverty Together: The New Brunswick Economic and Social Inclusion Plan 2020-2025.

“Today is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and this year’s theme is Dignity For All in Practice,” said Social Development Minister Dorothy Shephard, who is also minister responsible for the Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation. “I invite New Brunswickers to join in solidarity with those living in poverty and work together to improve their quality of life.”

The report provides an update on the plan’s nine priority actions, recent data on poverty in New Brunswick, the work accomplished by the community inclusion networks, and other government and community initiatives supporting vulnerable residents.

Highlights of the report include:

·         A 51 per cent reduction in the number of people living with a low-income between 2015 and 2020.

·         A 76 per cent reduction in the number of children (under 18) living in poverty between 2015 and 2020.

·         A 63 per cent reduction in the number of couples living in poverty between 2015 and 2020.

·         A 32 per cent reduction in the number individuals living in poverty between 2015 and 2020.

·         Poverty rates in New Brunswick compare favorably with other Atlantic provinces.

·         Work on the nine priority actions set out in the plan is well underway.

·         Support for social assistance recipients has been increased.

·         Extensive resources and support have been allocated to new and existing community transportation programs across the province to provide accessible, affordable and available transportation services.

·         Launch of 211 NB, a free and confidential resource that connects New Brunswickers to critical human, social, community and government support.

Data from the Statistics Canada 2020 Canadian Income Survey, the most recent available, was included in the report.

“Much progress has been made in the first 30 months of the plan,” said Jean Allain, chair of the corporations’ board of directors. “We are still facing challenges in these difficult times, but we believe that collectively, we can work towards ensuring that all New Brunswickers can live with dignity, and security.”

The non-partisan plan builds upon the collaboration of the government, and the business and non-profit sectors, as well as people who live or have lived in poverty.

The progress report is available online.

The Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation is a Crown corporation that co-ordinates and supports implementation of the Overcoming Poverty Together plan. The corporation's board of directors is composed of members representing residents with lived experience, non-profit groups, businesses and government.