News Release Archive

     Ministers from the four Atlantic provinces met in St. John's
today to discuss proposals for social security reform released by
the Government of Canada in October, 1994.  This meeting follows
a December 1, 1994 meeting between the Atlantic Ministers and the
Honourable Lloyd Axworthy.

     Ministers discussed the impact of possible changes to the
Unemployment Insurance Program, the Canada Assistance Plan and
Post Secondary Education financing.  Newfoundland's proposal for
an Income Supplementation Program was also discussed.  "I am
pleased by the high level of consensus among the Atlantic
provinces on these issues," noted Education Minister John
MacEachern, chair of the meeting.  "Ministers agreed that any
reforms to Canada's social programs must not create more severe
impacts in the Atlantic region, and that any reforms must be
preceded by a thorough federal/provincial consultation process
leading to joint decisions on any changes that may be proposed.

     "Atlantic Ministers view social policy reform as critical to
ensuring that social services and programs operate effectively
and efficiently.  This goal can only be reached, however, if both
orders of government work cooperatively."

     Based on today's discussions, ministers from each province
plan to consult with their respective cabinet colleagues, with a
view to presenting a common Atlantic approach to the federal
government on the proposed reforms.  The Atlantic ministers are
expected to meet again with the Honourable Lloyd Axworthy in late
January to discuss the reforms.

     Education Minister John MacEachern and Community Services
Minister Jim Smith participated at the meeting on behalf of Nova
Scotia.  Newfoundland was represented by Chris Decker, Minister
of Education and Training, Tom Murphy, Minister of Employment and
Labour Relations and Kay Young, Minister of Social Services.  New
Brunswick was represented by Ann Breault, Minister of Human
Resources Development.  Jeannie Lea, Minister of Higher
Education, Training and Adult Learning and Robert Morrissey,
Minister of Economic Development and Tourism participated on
behalf of Prince Edward Island.
lm                                   January 10, 1995