EDMONTON, Feb. 5, 2016 /CNW/ - Federal, provincial and territorial social services ministers met today to discuss key social issues that matter to Canadians, such as reducing poverty, supporting high quality early learning and child care services, improving outcomes for Indigenous children and youth and removing and preventing barriers for people with disabilities.
Ministers discussed the importance of providing effective and innovative social services, including social infrastructure, to respond to the diverse needs of Canadians. The meeting was the first opportunity for provinces and territories to meet with the new federal government to begin working together on areas of common interest, while respecting jurisdictional roles and responsibilities. Ministers were united in their commitment to build on the work already underway and to ensure that all Canadians have a real and fair chance at success.
Ministers shared information and promising practices that will support future collaboration. They agreed on the need to ensure federal initiatives are flexible and complement provincial and territorial efforts to reduce poverty and to support children and families and persons with disabilities. Ministers agreed on how to move forward with discussions on a proposed early learning and child care framework. They also committed to engaging Indigenous partners and other ministers, such as the Minister responsible for Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, in future discussions on how to reduce the number and overrepresentation of Indigenous children and youth in care, building on the work done for Canada's Premiers.
Ministers look forward to advancing these discussions.
The meeting was co-chaired by the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and the Honourable Irfan Sabir, Alberta Minister of Human Services.
"I am pleased that the federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for social services met and resumed constructive collaboration and dialogue. We are now working together on social issues that are important to Canadians, and together we will meet their social services needs across the country."
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
"I was pleased to welcome my federal, provincial and territorial colleagues to Alberta. We had a valuable opportunity to discuss social issues that have significant impacts on our communities, develop a shared understanding of the ways these issues affect our jurisdictions and set the stage for ongoing collaboration between governments and Indigenous communities. I am pleased with the progress we made together on issues such as poverty reduction, supporting persons with disabilities and child care. I look forward to our next meeting and future work to support the needs of Canadian families."
– The Honourable Irfan Sabir, Alberta Minister of Human Services
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SOURCE Federal, Provincial and Territorial Social Services Ministers
For further information: Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, firstname.lastname@example.org; Aaron Manton, email@example.com, 780-668-1148, Press Secretary, Human Services