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Executive Council
November 7, 2007

Citizens and Government Come Together
Visions to Actions � A Roadmap to 2020

Visions to Actions � A Roadmap to 2020 marks an important step in the Provincial Government�s strategy to build strong, sustainable rural communities. The conference will provide the forum for citizens, through the regional and provincial councils, with the opportunity to collaborate with the key decision-makers to help build a roadmap to enhance sustainability of the province�s rural communities.

"This government is committed to working with citizens to build strong and sustainable rural regions," said the Honourable Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. "Engaging citizens to create a shared vision and a clear pathway to regional sustainability is a key step in achieving our goal. I am confident that this forum will enable us to identify the appropriate actions required to address rural challenges and maximize opportunities."

The conference, scheduled for November 7-9 in Gander, will expand upon the Rural Secretariat�s Dialogue Days previously held in Port Blandford in 2004, Marble Mountain in 2005, and Rocky Harbour in 2006. Participants will include 14 Cabinet mnisters, three MHAs, all regional and provincial council members of the Rural Secretariat, senior public officials, community stakeholders, and youth from across the province. Discussion will include, but not limited to, how best to attract, retain, and engage youth, along with economic, labour market, social and demographic issues facing rural Newfoundland and Labrador.

"By working collectively and using innovative thinking at all levels we can establish modern, diverse economies. Through the Rural Secretariat we have opened-up dialogue between communities, regions, and governments," said the Honourable Trevor Taylor, Minister Responsible for the Rural Secretariat. "This conference provides the platform to develop a range of actions and initiatives that will lead to vibrant economies that will encourage people to stay and work in our province."

Premier Williams and Minister Taylor will both address the conference. There will also be presentations by Dr. Sharon Manson Singer, president of the Canadian Policy Research Network, and Dr. Ivan Emke of Sir Wilfred Grenfell College in Corner Brook.

"The conference offers the platform for citizens to discuss regional issues directly with policy-makers and to put forward solutions that are sustainable, achievable, and realistic," said Sheila Kelly-Blackmore, chair of the provincial council of the Rural Secretariat. "By committing to work together government and citizens take a shared responsibility in developing strategies to strengthen rural regions of the province."

The Rural Secretariat focuses on the sustainable development of all regions of the province. It facilitates information-sharing, informed dialogue and collaboration within the region and between government and communities. The Rural Secretariat conducts research, facilitates partnerships and engages citizens to become more informed on regional issues.


Media contact:

Scott Barfoot
Director of Communications
Rural Secretariat
709-729-4570, 690-6290

2007 11 07                                                    10:00 a.m.


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