May 16, 2014 1:12 pm

Census change makes it hard to track progress on poverty: Alward

New Brunswick Premier David Alward

File

FREDERICTON – The premier of New Brunswick and a Crown agency mandated to reduce poverty say the demise of the long-form census has made it difficult to measure whether the province is making progress on the issue.

The comments from David Alward and the New Brunswick Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation came as a new five-year plan for poverty reduction was released Friday.

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Alward says the elimination in 2010 of the long-form census 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.

Brian Duplessis, the co-chairman of the New Brunswick Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation, says the agency is now looking to other sources of data, especially to measure changes in local communities, and an assessment of poverty reduction will be issued next year.

The report released Friday by the Crown agency contains a number of recommendations including indexing the minimum wage, improving public transportation and child literacy programs.

Alward says his government will review the recommendations.

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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