More Northern Communities to Get Advisory Groups

Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 14:43




Three more Northern Saskatchewan communities will have community reference panels by this fall.


Community Resources and Employment Minister Glenn Hagel made the announcement in La Ronge this morning.


The community reference panels include a variety of community stakeholders and advise Hagel’s department on social development issues specific to their region.


There are currently two of these panels already in existence in Northern Saskatchewan — Beauval and Cumberland House have been trying the initiative on a pilot basis for the last 3 years.


New North CEO Al Loke says the panels in those two communities have shown they can reduce dependency on social services programs and produce positive client outcomes.


Loke also says the panels have helped lessen the workload for department staff that are assigned to several northern communities.


Loke says this initiative is a good example of how northern communities can become more self-sufficient.


Loke says any northern community without a full-time social services worker and with a population of at least 500 people is eligible to apply to be the home of one of the three new reference panels.


It’s expected the successful applicants will be chosen by September 12th with the new panels in place by October 1st.