Premier Unveils Strategic Social Plan
Premier Brian Tobin unveiled government's Strategic Social Plan today at a news conference held at Confederation Building in St. John's. The document, entitled "People, Partners and Prosperity: A Strategic Social Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador" sets out a framework for social action and identifies strategic directions, processes, and outcomes to guide the long-term action of government. The plan involves regions, communities, and people in an effort to achieve strong social and economic prosperity.
"This plan represents a fundamental shift in the way government operates in the social sector and addresses the social challenges confronting this province," said Premier Tobin. "We're really charting new territory by creating strategic partnerships for social development. We believe this approach will expand the potential of people from all sectors of the province to work together and effect some real, meaningful change. There's no question that Newfoundland and Labrador will be seen as a leader in strategic social policy development."
The plan focuses on three overall strategic directions:
Premier Tobin emphasized that social change of this magnitude is long-term and that it will take the commitment and leadership of community and regional stakeholders. He also said the Strategic Social Plan will be phased in over the next two years and that government has committed to a social audit five years after the implementation of the plan to measure social development.
Government has already implemented many initiatives that are in keeping with the new social policy direction. "As a government we have already demonstrated our commitment to the new directions outlined in this plan through numerous social policy initiatives such as the recent reform of the school system, the redesign of income support now underway, the development of a strategic literacy plan, the integration of health and community services, and the investment of millions of dollars into early intervention and prevention programs for low-income families and their children," said Premier Tobin. "We will continue to build on initiatives already taken and work with community and regional stakeholders to achieve our social goals."
A Cabinet Committee is vested with the responsibility of ensuring the plan is implemented. The premier announced that Julie Bettney, Minister of the Department of Human Resources and Employment and Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, has been designated as the lead minister.
The premier also introduced members of the newly formed "Premier's Council on Social Development. These members were appointed by the premier to provide expertise in matters relating to social development and to reflect the views and regions of the province (Please see list of members attached).
The premier thanked members of the Social Policy Advisory Committee (SPAC) who conducted extensive consultation in the province on behalf of government. "I am delighted with the release of the Strategic Social Plan which signals a strong emphasis on social development," Penelope Rowe, former Chair of SPAC said, "During the Social Policy Advisory Committee consultations, the people of Newfoundland and Labrador stated clearly that they wanted a new approach to social policy. The framework laid out in this plan recognizes the importance of a more integrated approach to social and economic development and to building community capacity. It also establishes the foundation for a more constructive approach to seeking community input into social policy formulation and for linking the community based sector with government in social policy renewal."
The premier concluded: "The Strategic Social Plan rests on the inherent ability of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to work together. This cooperative effort between government and communities will allow us to meet the challenges of this changing world."
Heidi Bonnell, Premier's Office, (709) 729-3960.
Karen Kelloway, Communications, Department of Human Resources and Employment, (709) 729-4062.
For additional copies of the Strategic Social Plan, please contact:
Office of the Queen's Printer
The document is also posted on the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador's website (www.gov.nl.ca/).
Premier's Council on Social Development
The council represents an important partnership between government and the community. It will be appointed by the premier to provide advice on provincial directions for social development with specific emphasis on the population's health and well-being, on economic security and on the links between social and economic development.
The Premier's Council on Social Development will be comprised of members appointed by the premier for their expertise in matters relating to social development as well as their ability to reflect the diverse views and regions of the province.
The council will provide advice on social policy, social development, and on the implementation of the goals and objectives of the Strategic Social Plan. The council will provide advice through round table discussions and through research and assessment activities on questions referred to it by the premier or the ministers. The council will be involved in the process leading up to the development of the social audit.
Opportunities will also be provided for the council to exchange views on social development issues with the Cabinet Committee responsible for the Plan and with the Premier's Advisory Council on Economy and Technology.
Susan is a business person and rural community activist with a background in the private, public and volunteer sectors. She is President of Hollett and Sons Inc., a market research and competitive intelligence firm based in Shoal Harbour; a former senior public servant in community and business development, a volunteer on school boards, library boards, women's organizations among others, and the mother of two pre-schoolers. These experiences, together with a Master's Degree in Policy Analysis from the London School of Economics and Political Science, gives Susan the breadth of knowledge and skills required to lead the Premier's Council on Social Development.
Moyra is Executive Director of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Newfoundland and Labrador Division. A social worker by training, she has done extensive public education and community development work, focusing on building the capacity of people and communities to deal with the stresses in their lives. As a founding member of the Community Alliance for Better Solutions, she has been an advocate on issues of poverty and joblessness and the way public policy impacts on people's lives. Moyra resides in St. John's.
George is Vice-President of the Bank of Nova Scotia for Newfoundland and Labrador and resides in St. John's. He has served on several organizations in the past 10 years including the Children's Wish Foundation, the Lieutenant Governor's Institute on Family Life, Junior Achievement, and the St. Clare's Hospital Foundation Board. He is a member of the St. John's Board of Trade and the St. John's Rotary Club and has chaired the Newfoundland and Labrador Business Hall of Fame for three years.
George is a retired educator from Bonavista who was active in teaching and administration in the post-secondary education system. Throughout the last 30 years, he has had significant volunteer involvement in the community, region and province. He was chairperson of the Bonavista Peninsula Health Care Board for 13 years, and also chaired the Bonavista Hospital Building Committee. His voluntary activities include working with the Vista'97 Committee, the Bonavista Volunteer Fire Department, the Minor Hockey Association, the Bonavista Lions Club and the Provincial Inshore Fishermen's Improvement Committee.
Kay is a retired health professional who spent 26 years with the St. Clare's School of Nursing in St. John's. She is a graduate of St. Joseph's Hospital School of Nursing in Nova Scotia and subsequently obtained a diploma in nursing education from Dalhousie University, a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education and Masters of Education from Memorial University of Newfoundland. In 1968, Kay established the first two-year program at Western Memorial Hospital and in 1996 she responded to the challenge of merging three St. John's nursing diploma schools to become the Centre of Nursing Studies. She recently retired as Director of the Centre.
Peter brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the council in many aspects of social policy. He was a school teacher, an instructor at the community college level, a member of the House of Assembly, an executive in the John Howard Society and is currently a member of the Memorial University of Newfoundland Board of Regents. As a freelance writer and columnist for the Evening Telegram, he has written often about the problems of the health care system and the need to reform the social security system. He has a deep understanding of the problems facing the justice and education system. Peter resides in Stephenville.
Debbie is President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Nurses' Union and resides in St. John's. As a nursing leader, Debbie has been a strong advocate for nurses, health care and the public. She served as a member of the Social Policy Advisory Committee and participated in the province-wide public dialogue on social policy. Her eight years of experience as a nurse have provided her with a strong knowledge of the health sector, as well as an understanding of the relationships among all social sectors and the health and well being of individuals, families and communities.
Jocelyn is Executive Director of the Stella Burry Corporation, an organization that oversees Naomi Center and Emmanuel House located in St. John's. In the 20 years she has spent as a social worker and administrator in the mental health and correctional fields, Jocelyn has devoted much of her professional career to developing services and programs that respond to peoples' needs. She has simultaneously worked to bring about social policy changes that will eliminate the need for these services. Jocelyn is a member of numerous national and local organizations that focus on issues of sexual abuse, homelessness, poverty and social justice.
Joyce is President of the Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women in St. John's. She is from Western Newfoundland and has worked on issues of community development and social justice for close to 25 years. Her past involvements include child care, employment counselling and instructing at the community college level. She was Executive Director of the Bay St. George Women's Council in Stephenville for 11 years. Joyce is committed to the survival of women, families and communities in the province and is recognized for her innovative approach to community development. She brings a strong women's focus to the pursuit of social and economic inclusion.
Bernice is a retired educator living in Labrador and was active in the education sector of this province for 25 years as a primary school teacher and principal. Bernice is a founding member of the Early Childhood Development Association and the child protection team in Happy Valley Goose Bay. A former town councillor, Bernice has served on various boards including Memorial University Board of Regents and Labrador East Integrated School Board. She is currently Vice Chair of the Board of Governors for the College of the North Atlantic and a member of the National Advisory Committee for the Law Commission of Canada.
Don is President of Newfoundland and Labrador Pensioners and Senior Citizens Federation and President of the National Pensioners and Senior Citizens Federation of Canada. He has served on numerous national and provincial bodies including the Marystown Lions Golden Age Club, the federal Expert Advisory Group on the project "Challenges of an Aging Canadian Society" and provincial coordination committee for the International Year of Older Persons. Don is also a trustee on the Peninsulas Health Care Board. He worked in recreation in Stephenville and Corner Brook and, prior to retirement, he was Director of Recreation for the Town of Marystown, where he presently resides.
Dorothy is a women's advocate and social activist living in St. John's. She was a columnist with the Evening Telegram and has authored a book entitled Bread and Roses. Dorothy is a recipient of the Governor-General's Persons' Medal and was awarded an honourary Doctor of Laws from Memorial University in 1998. She has served on several provincial bodies including the Avalon Consolidated School Board, the General Hospital Board and the Electoral Boundaries Commission, and is currently a board member of the Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women and the Council of Canadians.
Saqamaw Misel Joe
Misel was born in Miawpukek (Conne River) and comes from a strong Micmac family. Misel became Saqamaw (Chief) after the death of his uncle Chief William Joe in 1982 and since that time has committed himself to preserving the language, culture and traditions of his people. Through his involvement with the Conne River Health and Social Services Department of the Band, he has helped create a good solid community for the people of Conne River. Misel is recognized as a spiritual leader by the traditional Micmacs in his community and is involved with the Grand Council of the Micmacs.
David is a family practice physician in Placentia. He graduated from Memorial University School of Medicine in 1995 and is keenly interested in rural practice in Newfoundland. He participated for two years in Memorial University's Family Practice Program and was President of the Canadian Federation of Medical Students, as well as a number of other provincial and national organizations. David was involved in the First Provincial Health Care Forum in May 1997 and is currently a member of the recently appointed Provincial Physician Recruitment and Retention Coordinating Committe.
Kevin is one of Canada's most celebrated writers for young adults and is the author of 10 novels, including Hold Fast and No Man's Land. His first novel, Hold Fast, was placed on the Hans Christian Anderson Honor List and in 1992 he received the Vicky Metcalf Award for a body of work. He was most recently honoured as Memorial University Alumnus-of-the-Year and the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council Artist-of-the-Year.
Michelle is Regional Director of Mental Health Services in Western Newfoundland. She has a Masters Degree in Social Work and is actively involved in community development and advocacy. Her volunteer activities have included working with the Status of Women Council, the Women's Centre and the Community Mental Health Initiative. Michelle has also worked as Faculty Field Consultant for the Memorial University School of Social Work.
Eric has spent 35 years as an educator with the provincial school system. He serves on numerous national and provincial organizations including the Coalition of Disabled People in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, the Whole Access Group and the federal Advisory Committee on Accessible Transportation. Eric has received the Pippy Award for Outstanding Male Paraplegic of the Year in Newfoundland and Labrador and the Canadian Organization for Provincial Organizations for the Handicapped Award for involvement in the disabled persons' movement in Canada. Eric presently resides in Gander.
Penelope is Executive Director of the Community Services Council in St. John's and holds a Masters of Science from the London School of Economics. She chaired the Social Policy Advisory Committee which prepared the foundation for the Strategic Social Plan. Penelope has served on numerous national and provincial bodies including the National Council of Welfare, the Coalition of National Voluntary Agencies, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Regional Economic Development Board for Zone 19 which she chaired. She was one of five Canadians recognized for outstanding contribution to social policy in Canada by the Canadian Council on Social Development.
George works as a senior student support services teacher with the Baie Verte-Central-Connaigre School District in Bishop's Falls. He has worked in the field of special education services for 23 years, and has a deep commitment to education in the province. He has been active in community and regional affairs for the past 28 years, and served as Mayor of Bishop's Falls for almost 20 years. He served on many volunteer boards at both the local and provincial level, and most recently was a member of the Social Policy Advisory Committee of the provincial government. He is committed to rural Newfoundland and is a strong advocate of education programes for students with special needs.
Michelle is Chairperson of Futures in Newfoundland and Labrador's Youth (FINALY!) and resides in Clarkes Beach. She is the Coordinator of the Youth Services Canada Project "Teaching Visually" which produces quality television programming primarily directed at youth. Michelle has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics/Business Administration from Memorial University of Newfoundland and is an active volunteer with several youth and regional economic development groups including the Baccalieu Economic Development Board and the Baccalieu Youth Council.
1998 08 31 2:40 p.m.