May 16, 2014 2:20 pm

Poverty reduction plan for next 5 years unveiled

The province's second poverty reduction plan was revealed Friday.

Kevin Godwin/Global News

FREDERICTON – The province’s second poverty reduction plan was launched Friday in Fredericton, after 4,800 comments were collected from public meetings held last fall.

The plan was presented by the Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation (ESIC) and contains a number of recommendations including indexing the minimum wage, improving public transportation and child literacy programs. 

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“Everyone is ready to take action in order to improve the quality of life of all citizens,” said Léo-Paul Pinet, president of ESIC.

Transportation was on the mind of one community group.

Tele-Drive Albert County is a six month old service that has about 24 clients in the Albert County region.

“This service is helping people get into the city, to their much needed medical appointments, to the food bank,” said co-ordinator, Kimberly Beers. “A lot of at-risk seniors use the service, even going into get their haircuts for the first time in many, many years.”

Premier David Alward says the elimination of the long-form census in 2010 has made it hard to find the data needed to measure whether the first five-year poverty reduction plan, which expires in November, has been successful.

“One of the challenges that we’re facing today, is the change to how census data is collected, it is more complex to be able to evaluate the effects,” Alward said. “So that’s why we’re looking at new strategies of how we can measure going forward.”

The Economic and Social Inclusion Act was created in April of 2010 and stated that a new plan would be created every five years through a public engagement process lead by the Corporation.

With files from The Canadian Press

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