May 17, 2016
FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Voices of New Brunswick Women Consensus-Building Forum (Forum) welcomes the introduction of the New Brunswick Women’s Council Act in the provincial legislature by Premier Brian Gallant, who is also Minister responsible for Women’s Equality.
“With this enabling legislation, these dedicated and passionate women will be able to do their work on behalf of New Brunswickers independently and efficiently,” says Premier Gallant.
The Forum’s Co-Chairs, Jody Dallaire and Jennifer Richard, say that if the Act passes the Government of New Brunswick will have truly re-established an independent public advisory body on women’s equality issues in the province.
The Act would see the Forum become the New Brunswick Women’s Council (Council). It will address the administrative gaps in the Forum’s existence and provide stability and strengthen the organization.
“This bill evolves the Forum from an entity of uncertain status to a Council that has a clear, legislated mandate, structure, and relationship to government,” says Richard. “This is essential if we are to have a truly independent and effective advisory body on women’s equality issues in New Brunswick.”
The Council would retain the Forum’s mandate to provide independent advice to the provincial government on matters of interest to women and their substantive equality while also bringing issues to public attention.
“Establishing the Council doesn’t mean starting over again. The Council would take the Forum’s work to date and run with it,” explains Co-Chair, Jody Dallaire. “With a legal framework and structure, we will be able to move on a number of critical items.”
The bill was drafted by the Province in consultation with the Forum. It reflects the purpose and objectives of the Forum while drawing key elements similar to other government agencies, boards, and commissions.
“This framework is stronger than what existed before. The Council would be a modern entity with independence worthy of the tradition of legislated public advisory bodies,” says Beth Lyons, the Forum’s Executive Director.
Media contact: Beth Lyons, Executive Director, Voices of NB Women Consensus-Building Forum firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. 506-462-5142