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Human Resources, Labour and Employment
December 16, 2010

The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Joan Burke, Acting Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment:

Poverty Reduction Strategy 2010 Consultations Completed

I rise today in this Honourable House to provide an update on the Poverty Reduction Strategy.

In keeping with the Provincial Government’s commitment to consult the public every two years about poverty, an extensive set of consultations was conducted this past fall. In fact, this is the third set of consultations we have held since 2005, demonstrating the significance of public input in the initial development and continuation of our anti-poverty efforts. These latest consultations are especially significant, as they will help inform the development of the next four-year action plan to fight poverty in Newfoundland and Labrador.

I am pleased to report that participation in the process was quite strong. More than 350 people attended the public consultation sessions held in communities throughout the province. Three hundred more individuals participated in roundtables and focus groups. We also received numerous private submissions. In total, more than 650 stakeholders provided input that will help strengthen our strategy as we go forward.

We can take pride in the fact that the next four-year action plan will be built on the solid foundation that was created by our first four years of work. Our Poverty Reduction Strategy has been praised by advocates throughout the country because of our long-term approach, our co-operation among departments, our willingness to engage the public, and our substantial investments.

For example, our government made an additional commitment of $2.5 million through Budget 2010 to support improvements to the Access Plan under the Newfoundland and Labrador Prescription Drug Program. The Access Plan gives individuals and families with low incomes access to eligible prescription medications. This enhancement to the plan gives even more residents throughout the province access to the prescriptions they need, and this initiative represents just one of more than 80 ongoing initiatives under our strategy that are having a positive impact throughout our province.

This government knows there is still much work to be done and many challenges to be faced with respect to fighting poverty. However, with the continued support of advocates and the public, we will navigate those challenges. I look forward to launching our next action plan, and continuing this great work.

2010 12 16                                                    1:45 p.m.

 


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