New Brunswick’s Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation has announced that it will hold public sessions to renew Overcoming Poverty Together – The New Brunswick Poverty Reduction Plan. The government is looking to collect opinions from citizens on how best to combat poverty in the province. Citizens may attend special sessions to share their views, or they may submit their ideas online.
The corporation must renew the plan every five years after consultations with the public, as outlined in the Economic and Social Inclusion Act.
This organization is unique in its desire to engage the citizens of New Brunswick in the policy-making process. Governments regularly listen to their citizens, be it through Twitter, Facebook, or comments made online, but few actually ask outright for people to share their thoughts in an official forum. Moreover, they have made consultations with the public a requirement for the creation of a new plan.
The Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation consists of a board of 22 members representing government, business, community non-profit organizations, and people who have experienced poverty. Their mandate is to implement strategic initiatives to reduce poverty and encourage self-sufficiency in New Brunswickers. Their goal is to provide all residents of New Brunswick with the resources necessary to work and live in the province.
According to their website, they will have reduced income poverty by 25 percent in 2015 and will have made significant headway in improving social inclusion and personal economic sustainability.
Do you think governments could do more to include citizens in the policy-making process? Are special sessions more useful than crowdsourcing through social media? Let us know in the comments.