FREDERICTON (GNB) – The following message was issued today by Finance Minister Cathy Rogers, who is also the minister responsible for literacy, on the occasion of New Brunswick Literacy Day, Wednesday, April 19:

Literacy includes the ability to read, view, write, design, speak and listen in a way that allows you to communicate effectively. And, as we all know, being literate is an essential step in getting a job. Literacy helps individuals reach their full potential, achieve goals, and take advantage of opportunities. When individuals do well, so do their families, communities and employers.

Many New Brunswick adults face challenges with literacy and numeracy skills, particularly at the level required for working in a knowledge-based economy.

Your government is increasing its efforts to create jobs, and we are committed to ensuring that New Brunswickers have the opportunity to develop the skills they need to fill these jobs. We recognize that literacy is an essential building block in the development of a growing economy and vibrant society. This is why we recently released a new literacy strategy, Unleashing the power of literacy: New Brunswick’s Comprehensive Literacy Strategy. The strategy will support New Brunswickers from birth and throughout their lives, to ensure that every person has the opportunity to develop fully their literacy competencies.

In addition, the New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan aims to maintain an educated workforce, and improving literacy is one of the steps to get there. Literacy is also a key component of the New Brunswick Family Plan framework document as it relates to lifting people out of poverty. And our 10-year education plans recognize that students need to make a seamless transition between learning to read and reading to learn.

To achieve full success we must continue to collaborate with our valuable community partners, including businesses, public libraries, non-governmental organizations, post-secondary institutions and volunteers.

On New Brunswick Literacy Day, we also take the time to recognize contributions through the Council of the Federation Literacy Awards. The premiers and territorial leaders created the awards in 2004 to recognize the importance of literacy as an essential building block to a vibrant society and economy.

Together, with a strategic and collaborative approach to support literacy, we will create a job-ready workforce for generations to come and ensure that every New Brunswicker is able to fully thrive in their community. Let us continue to help those around us access the tools they need to succeed. And let us celebrate literacy every week.