Human Resources, Labour and Employment
October 16, 2008
Province Launches Poverty Reduction Consultations
The Provincial Government is planning a series of public consultations to strengthen its Poverty Reduction Strategy. This will include a series of public sessions, round tables, focus groups, and a website. These consultations are designed to engage individuals living in poverty, the community and the general public in a dialogue on the strategyís themes, goals and objectives.
In 2006, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador released Reducing Poverty: An Action Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador. This action plan was developed with input from community-based organizations, business, labour and people living in and vulnerable to poverty. It outlines governmentís plan to transform Newfoundland and Labrador from a province with the most poverty to one with the least, within 10 years. To date the Provincial Government has committed more than $100 million on an ongoing annual basis in support of 60 initiatives to prevent, reduce and alleviate poverty.
"Our government is interested in hearing the views of all residents of the province, and in particular those of low income, regarding the ongoing implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy," said the Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, and lead Minister for the Poverty Reduction Strategy. "The consultations support an active and ongoing dialogue that enables government and the community to share knowledge and strengthen the long-term success of the strategy. The purpose of the consultations is to continue to build a successful strategy to help the most vulnerable people in our province succeed and prosper."
The Provincial Government will hold public consultation sessions and roundtables in 15 communities across the nine rural secretariat regions of the province. To guide these discussions a consultation booklet is available in print or online at www.gov.nl.ca/hrle/poverty/consultations . Those who intend to make a presentation are encouraged to call toll-free line, 1-866-883-6600, and pre-register; however, everyone is welcome.
Individuals and groups can also provide their feedback and views by visiting the consultation website or by calling the toll-free number. Written submissions are encouraged and can be sent either by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, fax 709-729-5139 or regular mail at Poverty Reduction Strategy P.O. Box 8700 St. Johnís, NL A1B 4J6. The deadline for consultation submissions is December 15, 2008.
"Our government is committed to ensuring that we have the best available mix of policy and programs to help people achieve greater personal self-reliance and inclusion in Newfoundland and Labrador society." said Minister Skinner.
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Schedule of Public Sessions
Date and Time Community Location
October 20: 7-9 p.m.
The Provincial Government is now planning for the next phase of the strategy.
The 2008 Poverty Reduction Strategy consultations will further help to inform the Provincial Governmentís plans for the continued implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy.
Poverty and social exclusion involve complex social and economic issues and have many causes and consequences. Key factors include a personís ability to earn an income; cope with higher costs such as adequate housing, heat, medications, transportation, education and training, family supports and nutritious food.
Poverty or low income is commonly measured by comparing income with the cost of living, or with average income levels. For individuals and families, poverty often refers to their own daily experiences coping with, and overcoming, these challenges. Poverty affects individuals, communities and the province as a whole.
In 2006, using Statistics Canadaís after-tax Low-Income Cut Offs (LICO), Newfoundland and Labrador had approximately 38,000 individuals living in poverty. This represents a decrease of almost 37 per cent from the 60,000 individuals living in poverty in 2004.
Key Poverty Reduction Strategy Themes
Eight key themes emerged from the 2005 Poverty Reduction consultations and guided the development of the Poverty Reduction Strategy. These are core to the strategic direction and public investment of the Provincial Government over the long-term in reducing, preventing and alleviating poverty in Newfoundland and Labrador:
Poverty Reduction Strategy Goals and Objectives
The strategy lists goals and objectives to help guide implementation. It outlines a plan for Newfoundland and Labrador to become the province with the least poverty.
In summary these goals and objectives are:
Goal 1: Improved access and co-ordination of services for those with low incomes
Goal 2: A stronger social safety net
Goal 3: Improved earned incomes
Goal 4: Increased emphasis on early childhood development
Goal 5: A better educated population
2008 10 16 3:10 p.m.
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