April 1, 1997
(Human Resources and Employment)

Premier Brian Tobin, along with the Minister of Human Resources and Employment, Joan Marie Aylward, and Penelope Rowe, chair of the Social Policy Advisory Committee, today released information and recommendations received during public consultations for the development of the province's Strategic Social Plan.

The Strategic Social Plan, the first-ever of its kind in the history of the province, is being developed to work in conjunction with the Strategic Economic Plan to constitute an overall policy framework for the future economic and social development and well being of the province.

The consultation process has been completed and government will now move into the development stage of the process. It is hoped the plan will be implemented in 1997.

Premier Tobin said: "We have to restructure and renew our social safety nets. Simply cutting services is not the answer. We are reinvesting savings in health care, education and social services."

Minister Aylward said: "An interdepartmental committee will now be formed to facilitate the next phase in the development of the plan. We appreciate the work of the Social Policy Advisory Committee and the people of the province who participated in the consultation process. We now look forward to continuing the development process and the subsequent implementation of the Strategic Social Plan."

Ms. Rowe said: "The Strategic Social Policy Advisory Committee proposed key directions and strategies which we believe can set in motion a process of social policy renewal. The new framework is contingent upon new attitides, new ways of doing things and a sharing of responsibilities and resources. Social policy must be forward looking and developmental, rather than reactive, and must endorse a fundamental role for individuals and local communities in achieving well being. The Strategic Social Plan Advisory Committee looks forward to government's response and to the preparation of the Strategic Social Plan."

Copies of the recommendations of the Social Policy Advisory Committee are available through the Queen's Printer at Confederation Building in St. John's.

Contact: Glenn Bruce, (709) 729-4062.

1997 04 01   1:30 p.m.