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Glen Abernethy: Working Together: An Action Plan to Reduce and Eliminate Poverty in the Northwest Territories

Mr. Speaker, at the appropriate time today I will table “Working Together: An Action Plan to Reduce and Eliminate Poverty in the Northwest Territories.” This collaborative Action Plan demonstrates our government’s commitment to work in partnership with other stakeholders to tackle poverty in the Northwest Territories. It builds on the great work that produced “Building on the Strengths of Northerners”, the Anti-Poverty Strategic Framework, in 2013. Like the Strategic Framework, this Action Plan was developed by all levels of government working together with representatives from the private sector and non-government organizations.

In 2014, I tabled the Government of the Northwest Territories’ Anti-Poverty Action Plan, which outlined our Government’s commitments to act and invest in this important area. But we already knew that government can’t do it alone. We also committed to work with non-government organizations, community and Aboriginal governments, business and industry, and other stakeholders to develop a multi-stakeholder territorial Anti-Poverty Action Plan.

That work has rolled out over the last year. I want to recognize the efforts of all the partners who participated in two Anti-Poverty Round Tables over the past 18 months. The perspectives, knowledge, passion and commitment of all participants were instrumental in the creation of the Action Plan, and will be critical to its implementation.
Mr. Speaker, the completion of this Territorial Action Plan is not the end of a process, but the beginning. The Action Plan outlines priority areas for action under the five pillars of the Anti-Poverty Framework, and demonstrates how these priorities link to those identified in community wellness plans. It outlines work under way in each priority area, setting the stage for annual updates. This living document will help all of us work together to ensure our actions have the maximum impact on tackling poverty across the Northwest Territories
I particularly want to thank the members of the Advisory Committee who took on the work of leading the development of this Action Plan. They include Co-chair Bronwyn Watters, and members Julie Green, Mark Heyck, and Bob Simpson.

I also want to make special mention of the late Liidlii Kue First Nation Chief Minnie Letcher, who as Co-Chair of the Advisory Committee was passionately committed to ensuring the community voice was represented in this Action Plan.

Mr. Speaker, this Action Plan is just a start. As our collective efforts evolve so will this Plan. I am confident that, working together we can begin to truly make a difference to improve the quality of life of all residents of the NWT.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.