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October 26, 1998
(Executive Council)

First meeting of Premier's Council on Social Development

The first meeting of the Premier's Council on Social Development is taking place today at the Holiday Inn in St. John's.

Premier Brian Tobin and Julie Bettney, Minister of Human Resources and Employment, will join members of the Premier's Council on Social Development to discuss provincial directions for social development within the province. The council was appointed by the premier to provide expertise in matters relating to social development and to reflect the views and regions of the province.

"The council represents an important partnership between government and the community," Premier Tobin said. "The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is taking a leadership role by adopting a Strategic Social Plan. The appointment of this council, and its advisory role to government, allows for opportunities for dialogue that enables people to meet challenges successfully."

The mandate of the council is to 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.

One of the first tasks of the council will be to advise government on the development of a public social audit that will measure progress toward achieving the goals of the Strategic Social Plan. Five years following the implementation of the plan, government will conduct a social audit which will indicate what is working, why, how and for whom. A provincial framework will be developed to measure improvements in social indicators such as general well-being, employment and economic security, and community stability.

The Premier's Council on Social Development is comprised of members appointed by the premier for their knowledge on matters relating to social development as well as their ability to reflect on the diverse views and regions of the province. Susan Hollett, chairperson of the Premier's Council on Social Development, said all members are keen to get to work. "Today we start tackling our mandate, preparing for the social audit and sounding out new social policy ideas for the province." Council members include Moyra Buchan, George Bradbury, George Clements, Katherine Daley, Peter Fenwick, Debbie Forward, Jocelyn Greene, Joyce Hancock, Bernice Hollett, Don Holloway, Dorothy Inglis, Saqamaw Misel Joe, David Keegan, Kevin Major, Michelle Melendy, Eric Norman, Penelope Rowe, George Saunders and Michelle Snow.

Premier Brian Tobin unveiled Government's Strategic Social Plan on August 31, 1998. 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.

Media contact: Heidi Bonnell, Premier's Office, (709) 729-3564.

1998 10 26                           11:45 a.m.

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