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Meeting being held tonight to discuss poverty reduction

POWELL RIVER, B.C. – Residents are invited to a special gathering tonight.

The event is being put on by Inclusion Powell River, the Powell River & District United Way, as well as the PREP Community Programs.

“It’s open to anybody in Powell River, and there’s lots of supports available. There’s child-care on-site, transportation stipends, we’re doing everything we can to make sure it’s easy for people to get there,” said Stuart Clark, the Executive Director of the PREP Society.

He said their primary goal is to get people talking and to provide ideas towards the province’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. The government is visiting many communities to have a conversation on poverty reduction, according to Clark, but they are not visiting Powell River as part of the tour.

“We joined a call for funding to be able to put on this conversation locally and send the results directly to the government,” he said.

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“Our secondary purpose is to have a conversation here, locally, and hopefully learn about what people living in poverty right now are facing, what would work to help them get out of poverty, and maybe that will start to mobilize some more local coordination and effort to reduce poverty in this region.”

The event takes place at the ARC Community Centre, with a dinner at 5:30 p.m. and the meeting starting at 6:00 p.m.

“It’s important because B.C. is the one province that has not had a provincial strategy on this matter, and we have some of the highest rates of poverty in the country,” Clark said.

Anyone that cannot attend tonight’s meeting can get in touch with the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.

Clark said the ministry has put out an open call for any residents in B.C. to provide their input on ways to improve the poverty reduction strategy. That can be done through this link.

Feedback can be submitted to the ministry until March 31, 2018.

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