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Egglton Speaks at Poverty Forum

PEMBROKE – Solutions to the persistent problem of poverty could emerge during a special two-day forum in Pembroke next week.

Liberal Senator Art Eggleton will be the keynote speaker during the Renfrew County Poverty Reduction Forum which will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 9 and Thursday, Sept. 10 at the Marguerite Centre at 700 Mackay St.

The forum will hopefully result in the creation of a local poverty reduction strategy as well as the establishment of a county-wide poverty reduction task force.

“This is such a fabulous opportunity for Renfrew County to come together with both the federal and provincial levels of government,” said Lyn Smith, co-ordinator of the Renfrew County Child Poverty Action Network (CPAN). “We want to come away with a plan and a willingness to create a strategy. We need something that is unique to us.”

The event is co-hosted by the county, the City of Pembroke and CPAN, while made possible through major sponsors Renfrew County United Way, Phoenix Centre for Children and Families, Carefor Health and Community Services.

Toronto’s longest-serving mayor, Eggleton was a defence and trade minister under Jean Chretien before his appointment to the senate in 2005. He is currently the Deputy Chair of the Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology and a member of the Senate Committee on National Finance. Eggleton also formed an all-party committee to study poverty and its impact.

“He is very passionate about this issue and has a lot of experience,” added Smith.

Newmarket-Aurora MPP Chris Ballard, parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Government and Consumer Services (MGCS), and the Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy, will address the forum. There is also a full slate of speakers and presenters coming from Hamilton, Haliburton, Kitchener, Ottawa and Toronto.

The sessions will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 9 and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 10. Participants are asked to register by Tuesday, Sept. 8 by 12 p.m. Seating is limited. To register go to the link http://poverty-reduction-forum.eventbrite.ca.

SEAN.CHASE@SUNMEDIA.CA